Neal Kassell and I joined more than 800 leaders from across all sectors in medical research – philanthropists and investors; medical research foundations and institutes, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, academic investigators, payers, and policymakers” for the FasterCures’ Partnering for Cures 3rd Annual Conference held in New York City during the last few days, November 7-8.  It was a robust gathering of notable leaders, including FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence Chairman Michael Rawlins.  While the conference was dedicated to accelerating medical progress, the device industry was surprisingly absent, and the agenda was completely centered on the biotech community.  Michael Milken appreciated this perspective, so perhaps we’ll see the diagnostic and therapeutic device community better represented in the future.  It was gratifying to see the reimbursement issue brought front and center during a panel discussion entitled, “Who will pay for tomorrow’s medical breakthroughs?”  This discussion brought home the fact that payers are critical to the ultimate availability of focused ultrasound technologies, especially in North America and Europe.  You can watch videos of the panel discussions and read more at the Partnering for Cures website http://www.partneringforcures.org/ .

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