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January 2012Issue No. 1
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EditorsLetterEditors' Letter

Welcome to the Inaugural Edition of The Wharton Healthcare Quarterly! We are excited to bring this new e-magazine to the vast Wharton Healthcare Program community.

The initiation by the Wharton Health Care Alumni Association Board of Directors of the launch of The Wharton Healthcare Quarterly was inspired by a desire to stay connected in a fast-paced, often fragmented world. Your enthusiastic response, words of encouragement, and active engagement tell us we're on the right track.

There is a wealth of talent in the Wharton community, making the effort to connect and highlight our alumni well worth it. We hope you will find this offering timely and informative, rich in content, varied in perspective, and highly interactive. Ultimately, we hope it will become a "go-to" resource and eagerly anticipated "must read."

This first edition will help orient you to the basic format, outline the strategic approach, and pilot test the concept in order to gain an initial reaction to the direction we're headed.

We are counting on you to help bring each edition to life and provide the type of insight and feedback which will keep it fresh, relevant, and truly meet the needs of our membership. We look forward to the involvement of our community and receiving new articles, comments, and readership from all of you.

So.......without further ado, welcome to the adventure!

Managing Co-Editors:
Z. Colette Edwards, WG'84, MD'85
Sylvia Tara, WG'05

To learn more about Colette, click here.
To learn more about Sylvia, click here.

P.S.  Special thanks to Hareesh Havnair, Jeff Voigt, David Gerhart, and Gabriela Sanchez for their help in bringing this inaugural edition to press

EditorsLetterDid You Know?

Healthcare Program Demographics
  1. There are 1550 grads and 74 soon-to-be grads in the database.
  2. There are 1741 grads/soon-to-be-grads spanning the years of 1971 through 2014.
  3. There are 521 joint degree graduates, with MDs leading the way at 305, followed by 82 PhDs, and 24 DDSs/DMDs. 
  4. The current gender distribution for grads is 59% male:41% female. 
  5. At the end of 2010, with 50% reporting, grads were located in 28 states plus Canada, the UK, Italy, and Israel. 
  6. There is great diversity relative to industry sector: 
PresidentsLetterThe President's Corner

Column Editor: Jay Mohr, WG'91

Welcome Fellow Wharton Health Care Alumni and Friends:

I'm thrilled to be contributing to our inaugural issue of The Wharton Healthcare Quarterly and want to congratulate our editors, Z. Colette Edwards, WG'84, MD'85 and Sylvia Tara, WG'05, for their dedication to producing this high quality e-magazine. Like all of you, I will look forward to getting quarterly updates on the cutting edge of the healthcare industry, including pieces from Wharton faculty and industry experts, hearing about the personal and professional achievements of our fellow alumni, and reading about the latest news from the Health Care Program office.

We are at a pivotal time in the healthcare industry with policy reforms impacting all of us - on both personal and professional levels. The 2012 Presidential Elections may render the final verdict on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and it is our hope that this publication, among other sources, will keep you abreast of its many implications. [Read More]

IndustryTrendIndustry Trends and Innovation

New Ventures in Healthcare Conference - Then and Now
A Reflection on Industry Trends
Column Editor: David Blaustein, WG'96

Wharton has been a leader in examining the complexity which is healthcare for some time. This year marked the 17th anniversary of our student-organized Wharton Healthcare Business Conference.  It brings together all sides of the industry to a neutral forum where students, faculty, and captains of industry drill down on the pressing issues of the day. Given the current national review of healthcare and the anniversary of the conference, we thought it might be interesting to look back at the origins of the conference, touch on a personal journey from one of its founders, and flash forward to the October 2011 Wharton Alumni Association Conference gathering, which also addressed industry trends and was organized by alumni.  [Read More]

OpenWideOpen Wide

Taking a Look at Dental Health
Column Editor: Harris Contos, DMD, WG'80

A funny thing happened on the way to health care reform. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as ACA, actually contains provisions, some fairly notable, concerning dental health. What is going on here? Doesn't everyone brush and floss regularly? Benefit from community water fluoridation? Visit the dentist every six months? Get sealants and braces for their kids? Have dental insurance through the workplace?

With popular advertising focusing on dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, "dentures in an hour," tooth whitening, and straightening those crooked teeth for both kids and adults, hasn't the "dental problem" been solved in this country? Is it not one of the few segments of health care where we can claim success? At a mere 4% of the total $2.5 trillion in national health expenditures in 2009, oral health is hardly a driver of health care costs or seen as a prism through which to examine other health care issues such as access, equity, and quality. So what is going on in oral health?   [Read More]

PhilosopherCornerThe Philosopher's Corner

Column Editor: Z. Colette Edwards, WG'84, MD'85

Welcome to this eclectic standing column which will feature insightful musings, words of wisdom, life lessons, and stepping stones to business success. We'd love to hear from you, so click here to participate in future editions.

This month's philosopher is David Gerhart, a Senior Project Manager at MedImmune, a leading biotechnology company under the AstraZeneca umbrella. 
[Read More]


InterviewSusanDesmondHellmanAn Interview with Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, Chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco

Column Editor: David Blaustein, WG'96

Over the last two decades, healthcare has emerged as a focal point with a far-reaching impact on the personal day-to-day lives of the American public as well as the health and wellness of the economy. We have seen the relationship between physician and patient reframed to a provider - consumer dynamic, as patients have become more aware and demanding of more control over product choice and healthcare service. We have witnessed the influence manufacturers have within the interactions between payer, provider, and patient. Lastly, we have also witnessed successes with novel drugs, therapies, and devices, the development of "new" delivery systems, and nascent government reforms as well as a number of failed promises. [Read More]

TakingPlungeTaking the Plunge: WHC'95 Alum Jamie Richter Seeks New Challenges via Jericho Equity Partners

Column Editor: Wharton Healthcare Quarterly (WHQ)

Wharton alum Jamie Richter recently transitioned from industry to the exciting world of hands-on investment.  Richter and partner Eric Schwartz created Jericho Equity Partners, a unique firm that is somewhere along the spectrum between a search fund and private equity.  Read on to learn the details of Jamie's transition, the partnership between two Wharton alums, and the fascinating new path they are traveling.

Wharton Healthcare Quarterly (WHQ):
Good morning, Jamie, and thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us. We understand you have recently taken the leap to embark on a change in your career that is both exciting and somewhat risky. Could you first give us a brief sense of how your career in health care has transpired to date and what you have chosen to do now?  [Read More]

NewPlayerEnvironmentThe Growing Importance of Incorporating U.S. Payers into Biotechnology Drug Development Decision-Making

Contributor: Sarah Collins, WG'89

The power of managed care is increasing because of its role in commercial insurance (typically employer-based) as well as Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage (Part C, which covers medical and pharmacy benefits for Medicare beneficiaries). The Affordable Care Act will substantially expand managed care's role, both because of the expansion of Medicaid and its role in the new state-based health insurance exchanges which start in 2014.

Implications for the Development of Biotechnology Agents

Biologics that are in development now and launched in the 2014 to 2018 period will face a greater level of payer scrutiny and more restrictions on access than has occurred to date. Access to cancer agents will be less restricted, but we expect that the payer environment for these drugs may well change as well.

Thus, there will be four hurdles to a drug's success (Figure 1). The fourth hurdle, payer coverage and reimbursement, of course affects physician prescribing as well). [Read More]

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within are those of the authors and editors of the articles and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of The Wharton School and/or the University of Pennsylvania.  Publication in this e-magazine should not be considered an endorsement. The Wharton Healthcare Quarterly e-magazine and WHCMAA make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information in this e-magazine and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.