A Successful Summit and Initial Steps on an Important Issue

ndhi-logoI want to thank the leaders and experts from various health sectors, academia, government agencies, Capitol Hill and patient advocacy groups who participated in this week’s Summit on Physician-Industry Collaboration.

I also want to acknowledge Susan Dentzer, editor-in-chief of Health Affairs, for her superb work in moderating the summit and the leadership of Lahey Clinic CEO Dr. David Barrett and Medtronic Chairman and CEO Bill Hawkins in co-chairing the event.

Over the course of the day Monday, we had important discussions and a frank exchange of view on the various issue affecting the collaborative work of physicians and the healthcare industry in developing new medical innovations for patient care.  Several individuals noted what an important stride it was to bring so many sectors to the same table to share perspectives.

At the end of the day, I believe some common ground was found on a number of points:

•      Collaboration between health professionals and industry is essential in moving products to the marketplace more rapidly and ensuring that they are safe and effective for patients.

•      Industry sectors, individual companies and professional societies have made strides in developing standards to ensure principled collaboration, but there is not a central inventory to collect these standards and determine where they may conflict or overlap.

•      There is still cynicism within the public and within governmental agencies and Capitol Hill regarding collaborative agreements and work needs to be done to establish trust and public confidence.

We didn’t expect to come to firm conclusions or sustainable solutions in a one-day summit, but we did begin to understand the steps that need to be taken to establish consensus on this issue, beginning with developing a common understanding of the standards governing collaboration that already do exist and the ways in which collaboration benefits patients and consumers.  This work will continue.

This Summit was part of the National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation, an initiative of the Healthcare Leadership Council to bring together diverse voices focusing on issues affecting the future of American medical innovation.  More summits are planned for 2011.