Aon Hewitt: Millennials care less about healthcare

05 December 2014 Consultancy.uk

The Millennials, or Generation Y, care less about healthcare and preventive health than Generation X and the Baby Boomers, concludes an analysis by Aon Hewitt. The Millennials not only place less importance on preventive care, they are also the least likely to participate in eating/weight management programs. The consulting firm states that employers should get engaged in the issue and explain the importance of good health today in order to prevent illnesses in the future.

Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon, recently released an analysis on the perspectives, behaviours and attitudes of Millennials* towards health and wellness. The analysis is based on data from the 2014 Consumer Health Mindset report, for which the Aon Hewitt, in cooperation with the National Business Group on Health, and The Futures Company, surveyed 2,700 US employees and their dependents.

Aon Hewitt - Millennials care less about healthcare

The analysis of the consulting firm shows that the Millennials place lower priority on medical care than other generations and are the least likely to participate in activities focused on prevention and maintaining or improving physical health. In the last twelve months, only 54% of the Millennials had a physical, of Generation X 60% and of the Baby Boomers almost three out of four (73%) had themselves examined.  Millennials are also less likely to participate in a healthy eating/weight management programs (21%), compared to Generation X (23%) and Baby Boomers (28%). These differences coincide with the importance put on preventive care to stay healthy by the three generations. Of the Millennials just 39% say preventive care is one of the most important things to do to stay healthy, compared to 49% of Generation X and 69% of Baby Boomers. Interesting to note is that the Millennials are the generation most likely to engage in regular exercise (63%), compared to 52% of Generation X and 49% of Baby Boomers.

Aon Hewitt - Health Activity by Generation

The lower importance placed on health is something employers should respond to as “the lack of health prevention and maintenance when they’re young may lead to greater health risks as they get older,” explains Ray Baumruk, Employee Research Leader at Aon Hewitt. “Employers should communicate the importance of participating in health related activities now to avoid serious health issues later in life.” Karen Marlo, Vice President at National Business Group on Health, adds: “Employers have a unique opportunity to engage and motivate the Millennial Generation and they are likely to get the strongest results by demonstrating the benefits of establishing healthy habits and behaviours today, not just tomorrow.”

* Millennials (also known as Millennial Generation or Generation Y) are the demographic cohort that follows Generation X. The generation is contains people with birth dates ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

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Medicine economic model creates negative health outcomes

26 March 2019 Consultancy.uk

Profit-driven production of antibiotics has held back the development of vital medical breakthroughs, according to a new report. Analysis from a leading strategy consultancy suggests that a change in economic model and new incentives could prompt pharmaceutical giants to develop cures to major diseases, which could be affordable at scale.

The much maligned pharmaceutical industry has long been criticised for its failure to focus on deep seated issues in public health. For instance, there is increasing concern around microbial resistance, with some bacteria now resistant to all known antibiotics. Combating that requires new antibiotics – but drug companies see little profit in the field, and therefore have not seriously invested in it. Another instance of concern is a focus on treating symptoms rather than curing the diseases themselves, with such treatments requiring long-term payment to mitigate symptoms, rather than one-time cures being delivered.

Cases like the so-called “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli – who received widespread criticism when his company obtained the manufacturing license for the antiparasitic drug Daraprim and raised its price by a factor of 56 (from US$13.5 to $750 per pill – underline the failing of this system to meet the needs of society. New analysis from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) seeks to challenge the current economic model and its inherent failures in favour of a model that creates greater social good while also generating steady reliable returns for pharma companies. The analysis appears in the firm’s ‘Aligning Economic Incentives to Eradicate Diseases’ report.

Different pricing model makes cures more accessible

One example is Hepatitis C. The disease is massively damaging to human life, with considerable negative impacts on patients and society. Treatments have existed for decades, which manage the virus but did not cure it. These treatments had significant side effects however, which saw people not complete rounds – which then resulted in expensive emergency care and secondary health costs.

In 2013 a treatment was developed that effectively cured the virus in 8-12 weeks. The treatment has few side effects and works in most patients. However, five years later fewer than 10% of people globally with the virus have had the cure – largely because of prohibitive costs. The ambition to remove this disease and its large negative drag on the lives of millions by 2030 is becoming increasingly unlikely. The issue is cost.

The current economic model used by pharmaceutical companies mean that early adopters pay sky high prices as the company seeks to recoup costs, with the price eventually coming down to levels at which a larger segment can afford to access the drug – before its generic releases sees mass uptake. This model creates considerable initial barriers, and long-term social costs.

The report subsequently proposes a different pricing model that would see the price of a new drug kept at a constant level for its lifetime but have that level set considerably lower than the current model - which is focused on recouping costs immediately. Under the firm’s model, within 12 years of the Hepatitis C drug’s discovery, up to 96% of the population could be cured, at a cost 30% lower than the UN model and with a cure rate almost 50 percentage points higher than the base model.

The PLA scenario has better social outcomes than the traditional model

A change in model would, according to the firm’s analysis for HCP, triple the number of patients cured within 2 years, reduce the number of liver disease deaths by 60%, reduce total costs to payers by 30% (due to fewer additional costs on healthcare systems), while creating higher and more predictable revenue streams for pharma companies.

“There are many barriers to curing this population, but the dilemma created by current pricing models is one of the biggest,” said Dave Matthews, a BCG Principal and study co-author. The firm adds, “The dilemma results because a high price per patient makes treating everyone prohibitively expensive while an affordable price is too low for pharmaceutical companies to earn back their investments.”

Matthews concluded, “Switching to a population-based model such as the PLA not only makes the cure affordable, but also creates strong motivation to identify, diagnose, and treat as many patients as possible before the license expires.”

Related: Ten year deal activity in pharmaceuticals industry stands at $2.4 trillion.