January 30, 2013

Engineering & Management Commercialization Collaboration

Post by:
Catherine Shih
MBA/MPH in Global Health Management, 2013

Last year a group of students from the School of Management and the School of Biomedical Engineering came together to form the Engineering & Management Commercialization Collaboration (EMCC). The EMCC offered students the opportunity to work collaboratively on a commercialization strategy for a medical device aimed for use in resource-limited settings. The medical device that the team is currently working on is Pharmacheck – a substandard drug detector that tests both the concentration of active pharmaceutical ingredient in a drug along with its dissolution.

EMCC Team: Andrea Fernandes (PEMBA), Cristina Crespo Roman (MBA), Amy Studenic (MPH), Darash Desai (PhD ENG), Alice Yang (PEMBA), Catherine Shih (MBA), Stalyn Almanzar (MBA), David Danese (MBA), Ravi Kirtane (MBA), Brian Hannah (MBA)

With counterfeit medicines occupying 10-30% of the market in resource-limited areas, millions of people receive inadequate treatment for illnesses. Pharmacheck offers an inexpensive, reliable and robust drug screening technology and has the potential to have a substantial impact on global health.

In Fall 2012, Pharmacheck and the EMCC team was awarded an NCIIA e-team grant and the opportunity to participate in VentureLab. The team spent three days in Hadley, MA, improving their strategic plan for Pharmacheck and gaining insight from NCIIA experts regarding value proposition development, strategic mapping and revenue models.

This semester the team will be carrying out market research and networking with stakeholders in global health. Recently four new members were brought onto the team from the Schools of Management and Public Health. This project demonstrates the potential for inter-school collaboration in the BU community.

Students interested in joining our team can contact us at emcc.bu@gmail.com for more information.

Catherine Shih is a 2nd year MPH-MBA with experience in tax policy, international trade, and organizational development. She spent the summer in Geneva working for the World Health Organization and eating chocolate.

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January 23, 2013

Bending the Cost Curve

Post by:
Simon Cook
Health Sector MBA 2013

One of the things I’ve most enjoyed about being an MBA student at BU is the access to interesting business leaders and experts. One such example was the recent ‘Bending the Cost Curve’ event, part of the Health Sector Management Speaker Series. It was a panel discussion between Dr. Andrew Sussman, President of CVS Minute Clinic (and BU SMG alumni) and Dr. Ralph De La Torre, President and CEO of Steward Health Care, moderated by our own Dean of the School of Management, Ken Freeman.

The event was well attended by many alumni of the program, and our entire class from HM710: Health Services Delivery. The talk was so relevant to class that Professor Restuccia amended our syllabus so that we could take in the event.

Both guests started the talk by giving us a brief introduction to the companies they run. It was clear that although retail clinics and hospital systems are very different, the innovative ways these two are tackling the business of health care have a lot in common. We aren’t going to ‘bend the cost curve’ with a magic bullet, but ideas like these might help.

The subsequent discussion was interesting because it not only reinforced what we were learning in class, but also gave us some insight into what it’s like to be at the top of a rapidly growing organization. Dr. De La Torre in particular gave me the impression that it was like trying to steer a runaway train – making quick but vital decisions at every moment!

On a personal note, I was particularly interested in listening to Dr. Sussman. During the fall semester I was part of a team working on a consulting project for CVS Minute Clinic. This project was for the highly recommended HM840: Health Sector Consulting elective. Only two and half weeks after this talk, we were sitting in Minute Clinic’s meeting room in Rhode Island presenting our final report to Dr. Sussman and his colleagues. Thankfully they seemed impressed with our work!

Simon is a 2nd year full-time Health Sector MBA student and the VP of Marketing for the Health Services Management Association student club. He has experience working as a Project Manager at a large hospital in London, England and is looking to expand his career in Healthcare Administration.

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