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商业 - 医药

诺华制药CEO:中国蕴藏大商机

吉奥夫•科尔文 2013年04月03日

诺华掌门人乔•吉莫内斯称,中国市场已经成为诺华全球最大的十个市场之一。诺华不仅在中国拥有庞大的业务规模,而且还在迅速增长。去年,它的中国市场增长了24%。而且,中国政府前不久表示,还将提高城乡地区的医疗支出,预计中国市场还将持续增长。

    眼下掌舵一个全球巨头企业是福是祸?美国出台的《平价医疗法案》旨在通过挤压供应商的利润空间来实现自己承诺的平价医疗,身陷困境的欧洲各国政府也纷纷削减医疗和药品开支,这无疑是制药业不愿听到的坏消息。好消息是,随着“婴儿潮”一代人步入老龄,就在他们最需要的时候,现代医学技术在治疗一些顽疾上不断传来捷报。比如瑞士诺华公司(Novartis)就研制出了突破性的抗白血病药品格列卫(Gleevec),同时诺华公司的产品线里也有伊克塞锭(Excedrin)和感冒药Theraflu等常用药品。这家公司的掌门人、53岁的乔•吉莫内斯近日接受了《财富》杂志(Fortune)记者吉奥夫•科尔文的采访,探讨了如何治疗癌症,如何获得最好的研发成果,以及为何规模正在缩小的俄罗斯市场反而被视为增长中的市场等问题。采访摘录如下:

    问:诺华公司是药品研究领域的一个大玩家,它在哪些领域的研究前景最好?

    未来5到10年,从药品研发上看,肿瘤学将成为获得重大医学突破的领域之一。大家将见证抗肿瘤技术的激增。人类基因组的深度测序以及该技术成本的降低,已经为我们积累了大量的数据,使我们可以在很多前所未有的领域进行研发。同时我认为,再生医学也将成为未来10年内的一个重点。随着人们渐渐衰老,肌肉萎缩、视力萎缩和听力萎缩变得非常普遍。而新技术的大量出现将使我们得以在这些领域进行研究,同时开发出革命性的新药品。

    听起来医学研究的本质正在发生变化。如果说现在我们要分析以前不存在的海量数据,是不是对新的专业知识提出了要求?

    的确如此。考虑到海量的数据,生物信息学的能力变得非常重要,开发和真正理解这些数据的能力也很重要。例如,某些特定的变异会导致某种特定类型的癌症。对于我们来说,这意味着IT正在成为药品研发的一个非常重要的部分。未来要想实现医疗技术的进步,必须要把医疗、科学和信息技术三者合而为一。

    美国医疗支出的增长率不可能继续维持在当前水平,它的增长率一定会下降。这对于大型制药企业究竟是好事还是坏事?

    首先,这是一件必要的事,因为医疗支出不可能维持当前的增长率,尤其是在美国。我们必须有牢固的财政基础。同时,药品开支大概只占总体医疗支出的15%。占医疗支出大头的是住院费、诊疗费、护理费等。所以我不认为这对制药企业一定就是好事或者坏事。

    我们的任务是开发创新性的、革命性的药品,如果我们开发的药品能够改变某些疾病领域的疗法,这些药品自然会收回成本。同一种药物,各家公司竞相推出疗效更好的新品的现象可能会消失,但是对于重大的突破性药物,它们一定能收回成本。

    诺华当然有自己的办法来实现医疗突破、研发重磅药物,而且诺华的方法可能和其它公司不一样,你能描述一下诺华的方法吗?

    Is now a great time or an awful time to be running a global pharmaceutical giant? The bad news is that the U.S. Affordable Care Act aims to achieve much of its promised savings by squeezing payments to suppliers, and strapped European governments are trying to reduce their health care and drug payments. The good news is that medical science keeps gaining ground on the most dreaded conditions just as baby boomers are reaching ages when they need help the most. The job of Joe Jimenez, 53, is to navigate that world for Novartis (NVS), the Swiss maker of drugs such as the breakthrough leukemia treatment Gleevec and consumer brands including Excedrin and Theraflu. He talked recently with Fortune's Geoff Colvin about beating cancer, getting the most from R&D, why a shrinking Russia is a growing market, and much else. Edited excerpts:

    Q: Novartis is a major player in pharmaceutical research. What are the areas of greatest promise?

    Oncology is going to be an area of great medical breakthroughs in pharmaceutical development in the next five to 10 years. You're seeing technology explode. The deep sequencing of the human genome and how inexpensive that has become have created a wealth of data that will allow new areas of discovery that have never been possible before.

    I also think regenerative medicine will be a growth area over the next 10 years. As people age, muscle loss becomes very common, as do sight and hearing loss. And the explosion of technology is allowing us to discover and develop innovative new medicines in those areas.

    It sounds as if the nature of medical research is changing. If it's analyzing vast quantities of data that never used to be available, then doesn't that call for new areas of expertise?

    It does. If you think about the amounts of data that are now available, bioinformatics capability is becoming very important, as is the ability to mine that data and really understand, for example, the specific mutations that are leading to certain types of cancers. For us, what it's meant is that IT has become a very important part of drug discovery. In the future, you're going to have to meld medical, scientific, and information technologies to create medical advancements.

    In the U.S. the growth of health care spending cannot continue at the current rate. The rate of growth has to come down. Is that fundamentally a good thing or a bad thing for a big pharmaceutical company?

    First of all, it's a necessary thing because we can't continue to see these increases in spending, particularly in the U.S. We have to get on a very solid financial footing. At the same time, pharmaceuticals are generally 15% or less of total health care spending. The big areas of spending in health care are hospitalization, physicians, nursing care. So I don't think it's necessarily good or bad for a pharmaceutical company.

    Our mission is to discover and develop new and innovative medicines, and if we are developing these new medicines that can change the practice of medicine in certain disease areas, then those drugs will be reimbursed. What will go away most likely is the incrementally better new drug that comes out. But for the big medical breakthroughs, I think there will be reimbursement.

    Novartis has a way of pursuing those medical breakthroughs, getting to blockbuster drugs, that seems to be different from what some other companies are doing. Can you describe that approach?

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