Johnson & Johnson: Leading innovations for better health care

OECD Observer Business Brief, by Johnson & Johnson

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The OECD Health Ministerial Conference and the OECD Policy Forum, with the purpose of discussing new ideas and policies to shape health reforms, can help ensure that future generations, and their children, have greater access to healthcare, grow up embracing health and wellness and possibly survive diseases we consider impossible to cure today. At the same time, adequate access to public health services can positively impact broader social and economic factors such as productivity.

Meeting these challenges will require new models of collaboration between health authorities, academia and industry, with patient care at the centre. At Johnson & Johnson, we believe that scientific and technological innovation can play a role in achieving the shared goals of better health, better quality and lower costs. “We continue to pursue transformative healthcare solutions and form collaborations that explore the cutting edge of scientific research to achieve our primary goal of improving the quality of patients’ lives,” said Paul Stoffels, MD, Chief Scientific Officer. Innovation in regulatory and financing models, new approaches to care delivery and payment reforms that reward improvements in quality and outcomes, a focus on prevention, early detection and curative treatment, and therapeutic solutions are also critical factors for success.

Innovation is at the heart of everything we do

Innovations in medicines have contributed to most of the improvements in life expectancy over the past decade and more.

“As a healthcare company, we intend to play our part, and innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Johnson & Johnson” for about 130 years, says Liz Fowler Vice-President Global Health Policy. Innovative technology makes possible the development of ever-more effective treatments, less invasive procedures with shorter recovery times, and, above all, improved patient outcomes. It can also help speed sequencing, diagnoses, ensure medication adherence to improve treatment outcomes, and allow for personalised real-time tracking to support wellness and facilitate positive lifestyle choices that improve overall health. Today we are investing in the development of approaches to disease interception techniques in order to identify patients most at risk for certain conditions and prevent illness at even earlier stages in the disease cycle. “Employees at Johnson & Johnson’s Pharmaceutical (Janssen), Medical Devices and Consumer businesses are pushing the boundaries of innovation to better serve patients and customers every day,” Fowler said.

The importance of collaboration

Innovation is only part of the solution, and we cannot tackle the tasks at hand alone. New approaches to innovation require collaboration and engagement in the continuous global debate if we are to make progress in improving health for the populations throughout the world. Johnson & Johnson created a network of Innovation Centers across the globe, bringing together a network of academics, scientists, entrepreneurs, business development specialists, community leaders, patient advocates, and community groups to source the best possible solutions for unmet medical need. “This broad perspective enables us to identify the best ideas, no matter where they originate, that hold potential to revolutionise healthcare and transform patients’ lives.” said Robert G. Urban, Ph.D., Global Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

Regulatory bodies play a critical role in the innovation cycle. Newly discovered biomarkers, combined with patient perspectives, real world evidence, disease interception models and innovative diagnostics, can guide healthcare delivery and should be recognised as a priority. We will need a regulatory environment that supports tools to prevent and intercept disease or needed and suited to achieve our goals.

“Making all this happen requires greater collaboration between health authorities and public and private capital to ensure that healthcare systems are both providing access to care and are sustainable for the societies in which they operate”, Fowler continues. Innovation in governance and systemic innovation are equally important. And this is why we appreciate events such as the OECD Policy Forum, they are unique opportunities to exchange perspectives with other players in the healthcare field and find common ground on reshaping healthcare for the people and societies of tomorrow. 

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©OECD Observer No 309 Q1 2017

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