IT advisory Mosaic Island supports Children's Hospice South West

31 October 2018 Consultancy.uk

An IT advisory firm from Bristol has chosen Children's Hospice South West as its charity for 2018/2019. Mosaic Island has become the latest aspect of the community to pull together for the hospice, which provides care for children suffering a broad range debilitative conditions.

Founded in 2006, Mosaic Island is a consultancy which helps clients with a range of IT advisory and implementation services, spanning strategy and architecture design through to project support and execution. Mosaic Island works works with both private sector businesses and government institutions; the firm recently was named a G-Cloud 10 supplier, meaning it serves as a preferred supplier for ‘Cloud Support’ services to UK’s public sector.

As part of the firm’s corporate social responsibility commitments, Mosaic Island has announced that its chosen charity for the next year is Children's Hospice South West. Caring for over 500 families across the South West, the hospice group provides care for children with life-limiting conditions, as well as support for their families.

IT advisory Mosaic Island supports Children's Hospice South West

The care on offer is wide ranging, including respite and short breaks, emergency care, palliative care and end-of-life care, while looking to support and enrich the lives of the children and their families. The group has been operating for more than 25 years, and now runs three hospices; Little Bridge House in Devon, Charlton Farm in Somerset and Little Harbour in Cornwall.

In a statement regarding Mosaic Island’s support, a spokesperson pledged, “As well as taking part in many fundraising activities over the course of the year, Mosaic Island will also donate up to one day [Charity Day] per year of each employee’s time to support this charity by volunteering or taking part in a big team event.”

The commitment to the hospice comes as the community as a whole continues to rally in support of the organisation. A recent Quarry School Falmouth reunion raised some £26,000 for the hospice, while Bristol City Football Club’s continuing partnership has generated more than £120,000 in funds for the group, and Somerset County Cricket Club batsman and former England star Marcus Trescothick recently braved Storm Callum in an effort to raise funds via a sponsored cycle ride.

Related: Consulting firm hosts football tournament for palliative care hospice.

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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.