News Article

2023 Danaher Summit Highlight: Valuing Diagnostics

June 13, 2024
Lord Darzi addresses the audience at the 2023 Danaher Summit

Our healthcare systems rely on high-quality diagnostics, but new diagnostics receive far less investment and reimbursement than new therapeutics. Our speakers offer insights into why diagnostics are currently undervalued and what needs to change.

On the critical role of financial data:

The financial system is broken—it cannot keep up with the technology. We have reimagine it, and reimagine what’s going on in CMS, and the best way to do that is with data. We need the financial data, so that’s what we’re working on. 

Gary Puckrein, President and CEO, National Minority Quality Forum

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On the surprising costs associated with preventative care: 

If you’ve ever wondered why CMS doesn’t cover preventative measures or things that might prolong life expectancy more than they do, one reason has to do with evidence, but another reason is the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring mechanism. When [preventative measures] are seen as prolonging life, that leads to an adverse score by the CBO because people who  live longer will be on the Social Security rolls longer, and the expense associated with their longer life gets tacked onto the actual expense for the clinical intervention. 

Adam Myers, Former Chief Clinical Transformation Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield

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On the new business models for diagnostic companies:

Diagnostics create tremendous value in the healthcare system but monetizing that value has traditionally been somewhat hard. 

Being able to create these multi-sided markets—selling to healthcare systems, selling to pharma, working with CROs—I think there’s a very special opportunity there. 

It’s just taken the life sciences community a little while to understand it.

Anthony Philippakis, Institute Scientist at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, General Partner at Google Ventures

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On the importance of balancing incentives across stakeholders:

In Europe, high performance diagnostics are still undervalued by healthcare systems; the question is, why? 

I believe it comes down to a lack of clarity between budget holders and manufacturers about value. Clinical pathways are complex, determining the impact of a single diagnostic test is difficult and diagnostics may also have a broader population-based effect... The policy goal must be to provide proper oversight for budget holders, but without deterring manufacturers from entering the market.

Lord Ara Darzi, Professor and Co-Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London

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On the role of diagnostics as cost reducers in healthcare:

Diagnostics [are] a critical catalyst to melt away cost in the healthcare system by ensuring that therapeutics go to [patients who will respond], and that alternatively we can mine the data of the non-responders in order to start developing new hypotheses around biomarkers and disease pathways to treat the non-responders with more effective therapeutics. 

The industry stands at a crossroads and every major stakeholder is facing multiple pressing challenges that limit the impact of innovation on how we deliver healthcare today.

Rainer Blair, CEO, Danaher

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On valuing the post-diagnosis patient journey:

Sometimes we oversimplify – we think, "[We’ve got a] diagnosis, let’s dust our hands, we’re done." But [a diagnosis] is just the beginning of your journey [as a patient]. 

How do you integrate a multi-modal, complex diagnostic situation [in a way that does] not disrupt your life?

Sarah Kehoe, Senior Director, Clinical Insights, Danaher

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These quotes were edited for length and clarity.