Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse Blog

Marissa Kuzirian 06-13-2017

Advances through the Triple Aim

The “Rule of Three” helps organize thoughts and communicate complex ideas simply.  Think “…of the people, by the people, for the people…” or “I came, I saw, I conquered.”  People like to think and act in sets of three.

The Institutes for Healthcare Improvement used this principle to develop its “Triple Aim” approach to optimize health system performance.  The Triple Aim, which has become one of the central tenants of the Affordable Care Act, comprises:

  • Improved Quality of Care
  • Better Outcomes
  • Lower Costs

While these goals may sound obvious and seem simple to meet, many times the ideas that are easiest to say can be the most difficult to achieve.  PLSG hosted a panel discussion during Life Sciences Week, featuring leaders from Knopp Biosciences, Pinney Associates, Attune Pharmaceuticals, and Cognition Therapeutics.  The panel focused on discussing how pharmaceutical innovations can coexist and thrive under the tenants of the Triple Aim.  Some of the ideas generated and discussed during the event included:

Patient-centric development is rising. In one example, a drug designed to treat pediatric epileptic seizures is using patient surveys to understand the degree of side effects parents are willing to accept if the drug otherwise performs well.  This patient-focused development enables companies to bring treatments to the market that positively affect patients with minimal unaccepted risks. (Serves Triple Aim goal of Improved Quality of Care)

Pharmaceutical companies can drive better outcomes for patients by moving away from blockbuster drugs that target huge populations, but that commonly have deleterious side effects.  Instead, these companies should focus on pharmaceutical subsets of patients with clearly defined disease pathways, which would allow for more effective and safer drugs.  Molecular diagnostic innovations can also help pave the way for targeted precision medicine therapeutics. (Serves Triple Aim goal of Better Outcomes)

Innovation is expensive, so lowering costs is difficult.  Innovation that allows patients to control more of their own health care, however, will be important in lowering costs.  Integrating strong patient advocacy groups can help support early-stage development of high-quality, cost-reducing solutions.  (Serves Triple Aim goal of Lower Costs)

Each of these examples represents important changes in the pharmaceutical industry, affecting development of new ideas, research to refine them, testing to improve them, and commercialization to find markets for them.

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