This was the conclusion of a panel discussion last week at Fortune‘s Brainstorm Health conference, which took place over the course of two days in Laguna Niguel, Calif. During the session, a trio of experts discussed the opportunities and challenges of a more globalized world, including cross-border clinical trials, the spread of disease and emerging pathogens and managing supply chains.
“On the supply chain side, it [already] is quite global,” said George Barrett, executive chairman of Cardinal Health. “Even if you think of yourself as a domestic company, it’s very likely you’re dependent on something from around the world.” (In the case of Cardinal Health, its supply of isotopes is being produced in the Netherlands and other regions, for example.)
When it comes to conducting clinical trials on a cross-border level, though, it is still early days and there are many hurdles.
“It’s very complicated to provide therapy that is uniform, to have a clinical trial that can be adopted across the globe,” says Joe Almeida, the chairman, president and CEO of Baxter International. “It takes a while to design trials that satisfy different countries.” (Almeida also noted that, while in the United States, there has been progress in getting clinical trials through, the opposite has been true in some other countries.)
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