World Economic Forum is an annual event where world leaders gather to discuss global issues. This year’s main theme was “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a New Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

We have curated a list of select healthcare mentions at Davos including some of the leading topics like mental health issues, consolidation of pharma, plateaued government spending, and increasing vertical integrations.

  • Mental health is currently one of the biggest challenges worldwide, and it requires the collective effort of nations to address this challenge.
    • Prince William shared his struggles with mental health and stressed that mental health stigma must end.

    • Bernard Tyson, chairman and chief executive officer, Kaiser Permanente, mentioned that mental health is an epidemic because people do not talk about it openly.
    • Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, whose government is prioritizing spending on mental health treatment, raised concerns for increasing suicide rates in the country, and also spoke about friends who committed suicide.
    • Stephen K. Klasko, CEO of Jefferson Health mentioned (in his key takeaways from Davos) that they need to stop separating mental health from physical health. He also emphasized on the need to understand “complex care,” targeting the 5% of patients who account for 50 percent of health care costs by focusing on mental health, physical health, and social health.
  • Christophe Weber, president and chief executive officer, Takeda, said that consolidation in pharma is common since research and development is expensive and companies are constantly facing a patent cliff.
  • According to Bill Gates, governments across the world should understand that health and education are key for growth and 15 percent cut in HIV funding can cost millions of lives. He also expressed concern over government spending on healthcare has plateaued across the world.
  • According to Peter Orszag, Global Co-head of Healthcare at Lazard (a merger advisory firm), the U.S. government and Federal Trade Commission have been pretty aggressive on horizontal combinations, and therefore there would be hardly any such deals in future. On the other hand, the big deals that closed last year ‘CVS–Aetna’ and ‘Cigna–Express Scripts’ were both verticals, and there will be more such deals this year.
  • Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P Morgan, said that with health care, the U.S. has the best in the world -doctors, hospitals, and pharma, but they also have some of the worst outcomes – obesity, the opioid problem, and 40 million uninsured.
  • In response to the question on whether they feel any pressure due to the big deals happening around payers, Bruce Broussard, president & CEO at Humana, said that they stay focused on what they do and at present they are in a good state as they are taking care of complex chronic patients. He considers this a better business than scaling and being in multiple different markets.
  • After ‘CRISPR babies,’ international medical leaders are working toward tightening genome editing guidelines. Dr. Victor Dzau, the president of U.S. National Academy of Medicine, revealed that in collaboration with the National Academy of Sciences, they are planning to set up an international commission on the most controversial use of that technology “CRISPR babies.”
  • On the discussion “future of hospitals,” Stephen K. Klasko, CEO of Jefferson Health, mentioned (in his key takeaways from Davos)
    • Technology should be used to create hospitals with no address, and telemedicine will be the treatment platform of the future.
    • Merging of population health and personalized medicine to ensure highly targeted care for individuals and communities identified with genetic risks for disease.
    • They create global physicians who would be able to practice seamlessly in different nations and cross-fertilize best ideas.