The NYC MedTech Medical Technology Forum has, for some years, presented programs which bring together the life science, biotech, medical device, and pharma industries. Attendees are always an eclectic mix of executives, reporters, scientists, academics, attorneys, and developers as well as representatives of trade organizations and international partners.
Last week’s presentation at the Consulate General of Hungary provided a view of global health tech rarely seen in the US–the view from Central Europe. It focused on Central European and in particular Hungarian health tech companies, ranging from Big Pharma (Janssen Pharmaceutical/J&J) and law firm Goodwin to six early-stage companies participating in the V4 Connects Global Tour business showcase. The Visegrad Group (the V4) are four Central European countries within the EU–Hungary (this year’s president), Poland, the Czech Republic, and the Slovak Republic–that have worked together since 1991 to promote their regional interests.The evening led off with a discussion panel led by Goodwin’s Frederick Rein, a partner in their IP Litigation Group, with Scott Lassman from their Technology & Life Sciences Group and Peter Takacs, Director Real World Evidence Partnership in the Global Market Access Organization of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Most of the discussion was on the differences in drug regulation between the EU and the US, and the swing back in the latter to getting more innovative medical products to US consumers quickly. A hot area is biosimilars, branded drugs that are highly similar but not identical to other drugs, which are gaining FDA approval through the 351(k) pathway. Other topics: the US increasing pressure on pricing and the UK’s Brexit, which will present challenges to drug and device developers from staffing to markets.