Given risk’s fundamental place in healthcare—from patients’ well-being to biopharmaceutical companies’ financial security—the interconnected stakeholders know surprisingly little about how to measure, manage and communicate risk. Overall, each group of stakeholders desires more control over the risks that they face and prefer to reduce their own risk by transferring it to others whenever possible.
Much of the data analyzed in this report reveals the need for deeper knowledge of the inherent risks in healthcare and medicine. For example, some of the patient responses indicate a lack of understanding of how the drug development process actually works. Likewise, the comparison of patients from the U.K. and the U.S. show a need for better education about balancing risk and benefit. At the same time, biopharmaceutical executives report little confidence in many of the tools that they use to evaluate the risk-benefit balance of a drug in development.
In today’s world of data and informatics, computation should improve risk assessment and management, but access to robust sources of data to feed the model is severely lacking. Instead, no one stands behind a confident consensus regarding how to measure risk, how to reduce it, how to manage it or how to appropriate benefit. Without that confidence in the data which underpins assessments, the most effective system to enhance health around the world cannot be built.
To address this challenge, the biopharmaceutical industry must develop new approaches, and do that as soon as possible. The results of this survey indicate that the biopharmaceutical industry can act now in several ways: collaborating early with payers on new compounds under development; striking pre-competitive alliances among industry competitors to enhance the innovative characteristics of new compounds; and developing risk-sharing agreements to enhance patient-population targeting.