I have to admit I missed many of the presentations at the conference, since I spent most of the whole time discussing possibilities with some very interesting people outside the main hall. However, I caught the tail ends of many of the sessions and had checked out most of the sites beforehand so I did have a grip on what was being discussed and I think the topics and many of the presentations came up in discussion with the people I met.
So here's a few of my observations from the scene, from a European perspective:
- Companies in Europe will have to be (and are being) much more creative in developing business models than in the US, due to the segmented market: language barriers, different sales territories, tighter government restrictions regarding pharma advertising to the public, greater dependence on the government sector....
- Lack of big pharma sponsorship deals to be had in Europe, due to the segmented market, will force more companies to start small, develop a sustainable business model, and then grow from within, rather than get a great idea, huge investment at the start, and not worry too much about business model in the knowledge that there are big pharma dollars to be milked.
- Europeans have a lot more in common than may first be apparent, and a shared identity is starting to emerge, based on good ethics and a willingness to work towards solutions that are truly beneficial towards society that will likely see the development of interesting collaborations across different cultures.
- The patient has been 'dumbed down' for far too long. Time to recognise that patient power is an untapped resource that can make a real contribution towards progress in health care, medicine, and even science.