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MONTREAL, April 11 /CNW/ - Today, Hugh O'Neill, President and CEO of sanofi-aventis Canada, told business leaders at the Canadian Club of Montreal why it's time for a transformational change in healthcare. A subject not
often tackled by leaders in Canada's federal election, but a message
Mr. O'Neill has been trying to discuss with healthcare stakeholders for
a while now.
"We see it in the media, we hear about it through friends and family, we
experience it firsthand: our healthcare system is going through tough
times - if it is not actually in crisis," says Mr. O'Neill in his
opening remarks. "It is time for a transformational shift in Canadian
healthcare, for the benefit of patients and the sustainability of our
Mr. O'Neill believes that increased productivity and efficiency are the
critical levers to keeping healthcare sustainable and providing
patients with optimal care. All partners within the healthcare industry
should work together to ensure our science, our systems, our processes, our negotiations and
our values always put patients first. In fact, governments, healthcare
providers and pharmaceutical companies should each measure their
success on the same basis: improved patient outcomes.
Highlights of the presentation included:
Access to timely care and treatments is compromised by inefficiencies and
delays. These issues need to be addressed to ensure sustainable and
optimized patient care.
Healthcare value should be measured by improved patient outcomes, not merely by cost
Innovation is key to improved patient outcomes and a more productive and
sustainable healthcare system. Used appropriately, innovative medicines
reduce health care costs for expensive surgeries and hospital visits.
Governments mostly reward through public reimbursement drugs that are
first in class, but small incremental innovations also create products that are more effective, affordable and useful
over time. Along with breakthrough innovations, which we aspire to
achieve to address unmet medical needs, it is important for government
regulators to value incremental innovations in their reimbursement
According to Mr. O'Neill, incremental innovations, or small improvements
to existing products, that make them more effective or easier to
administer, are more important than ever. "Would you rather take an
insulin shot once a day or many times a day?" he challenges.
"Advancements like these are courtesy of incremental innovation, but
they are not valued by Canadian regulators. This is why Canada is near
the bottom of the OECD in terms of access to new medicines (23rd out of 29)."
"To ensure success, the dialogue must move away from the current cost
measure focus, which seems incompatible with Canadians' belief in the
right to a healthy life. We need to focus on patients first, which
means working together for improved patient outcomes, embracing
innovation however big or small, ensuring appropriate use of
medications and encouraging patient compliance programs." These are all things that Hugh O'Neill and his team have been working towards since 2009.
Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers,
develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of
Sanofi-aventis is represented in Canada by the pharmaceutical company
sanofi-aventis Canada Inc., based in Laval, Quebec, and by the vaccines
company Sanofi Pasteur Limited, based in Toronto, Ontario. Together
they employ more than 2,000 people across the country. With combined
R&D investments of $159.2 million in 2010, they are leaders in Canada's
biopharmaceutical sector, a critical knowledge-based industry that
generates jobs, business and opportunity throughout the country.
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