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Health-Care Is Facing 'Huge Disruption', Says Teva Pharmaceutical CEO

Health-Care Is Facing 'Huge Disruption', Says Teva Pharmaceutical CEO
As technology heavyweights jostle for consumers with traditional providers, the chief executive of a major pharmaceutical company believes that the global health-care industry faces a "huge disruption".
Digital disruption is an enabler for health-care and pharmaceutical companies to serve today's customers, said Yitzhak Peterburg, interim president and CEO at Teva Pharmaceutical, said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s annual June meeting in Dalian.
"I am a very great believer that we are now in a huge disruption within the health-care (industry), and I think it will affect our industry," said Peterburg. "For me, the digital reform, or whatever we see, is a huge enabler."
Calling itself the largest producer of generic medicines, Teva Pharmaceutical is headquartered in Israel. treatment for multiple sclerosis as well as late-stage development programs for other disorders of the central nervous system is available with Teva in specialty medicines.
Through big data analytics, artificial intelligence and other technologies, ways that they Cana disrupt the health-care sector is being looked into by big technology names.
Secretive talks about bringing clinical data, such as detailed lab results and allergy lists, to the iPhone is being carried on by a team within Apple’s growing health unit with developers, hospitals and other industry groups, the media reported earlier this month. Meanwhile, in order to figure out how the company can break into the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market, Amazon was hiring a business lead, it was reported in May.
Ways to navigate this changing landscape, where they face increasing competition from non-pharma players, needs to be found out by pharmaceutical companies, Peterburg explained. He said that it is no longer enough to be good at manufacturing pills and injections. And consumers expect very different value from pharmaceutical companies and the health care industry as a whole and their demands have changed, he added.
"Part of my competitors are not only the Novartis of the world, and the other pharmas, but really the Amazons and Googles," he said. "Like any company, we need to think about where we invest and how we invest, and what is the right time to jump into the water."
But because different parts of the health-care industry are not moving at the same pace, finding an answer to the question is not straightforward, according to Peterburg. "It's very, very difficult, especially for incumbents, to find the right way and where to move," he said. "That's why we have to do it by collaboration maybe with start-ups, with small companies, and try to find the solution."
Pharma companies also need to navigate regulatory hurdles aside from competition from non-traditional players, in some markets. For example, over the last few years, it has bene difficult for Teva to find a foothold in China, Peterburg said.
"China is a challenge," he said. "Teva was trying in the last — maybe not even few years — to go into China (and) I don't think we've done a great job at this."
The company speaking with local pharma companies to try and find the right way to succeed in China's vast market and it has one manufacturing facility in the mainland, according to Peterburg. He added that because it takes too long to pass, regulation is a big hurdle.
"It takes too long, even to register. Now remember, we have the biggest cabinet of drugs in the world. We really are part of the good guys. We are the generic ones. We can bring quality into this market but if the time to register a drug takes two, three, four, five years, it's too long."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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