Category: Uncategorized

Interview with CytImmune CEO Saba Malak

published date
June 17th, 2021 by

Saba Malak photo
CytImmune CEO Saba Malak

I first encountered Saba Malak when I was a summer consultant at Boston Consulting Group and he was a new MBA. We stayed in touch and when I became chairman of Advanced Practice Strategies a few years later, Saba joined the board as lead investor.

Since then, Saba has invested in various healthcare and biotech companies in the public and private markets. I never thought of Saba as an operating executive –and apparently neither did he– but a couple of years ago he became so enamored with a company he’d invested in that he decided to take the plunge and become CEO.

That company, CytImmune is establishing a global leadership role in the field of cancer nanomedicine. It is a platform company with products of its own in development. The potential is huge, and in this episode of the HealthBiz podcast Saba explains the technology and why he is confident it will ultimately help patients. The company has a Phase II development collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, and is scaling up its manufacturing to be ready.

The HealthBiz podcast is available on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsYouTube and  many more services. Please consider rating the podcast on Apple Podcasts.

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

Remdesivir powers, activate! Podcast with Surya Singh

published date
October 1st, 2020 by

The HealthBiz podcast is now on Spotify and  many more services, making it easy to subscribe.


Remdesivir powers activate! Wouldn’t it be great if remdesivir magically cured COVID-19? Too bad it doesn’t. So what should we be willing to pay for a drug that shortens hospital stays and might reduce mortality? In this episode of HealthBiz, physician and healthcare executive Surya Singh shares his take on drug pricing, ICER and the future of the pandemic.

Show notes

AdhereHealth CEO Jason Rose on patient adherence (podcast)

published date
July 24th, 2019 by
Jason Rose CEO e1537821920780
Jason Rose, CEO AdhereHealth

Adherence to medication regimens is a huge challenge, with patients failing to get the benefit of their drugs and payers not getting the results they’re paying for. Adherence is also a major opportunity; for example over half of Medicare Star ratings are based on adherence.

In this podcast interview, AdhereHealth CEO Jason Rose offers his perspective:

  • (0:12) What are the biggest challenges in the pharmacy field? (Here’s the article Jason references in his reply)
  • (1:52) What does adherence really mean? Is it a big deal?
  • (6:15) Who has a financial incentive to do something about it?
  • (8:38) You claim over half of Medicare Star ratings are based on adherence. Is it really true?
  • (12:18) Is adherence a patient-centric term? It sounds more top down.
  • (13:58) How do social determinants of health tie in to adherence?
  • (18:15) What role does AdhereHealth play?
  • (22:27) Is your Pharmacy at Home program just a mail order pharmacy?
  • (24:56) Why did your company change its name?
  • (26:38) Can we expecting sweeping changes in adherence, with the introduction of new tools like AI and wearables?

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

Reference based pricing for pharmaceuticals. Podcast with ActiveRADAR CEO David Henka

published date
September 12th, 2018 by
David Henka, President & CEO of ActiveRADAR

Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) claim to keep drug costs under control, but their convoluted business models and tactics don’t always result in the best deal for employers. Reference based drug pricing is an interesting alternative approach. It’s used for drug cost control in other parts of the world and within the US for things like elective surgery.

“Rebates are like crack cocaine…”

In this podcast interview, drug pricing expert David Henka sheds light on the drug pricing world and describes the reference based approach employed by ActiveRADAR, where he is CEO.

Here’s what we discussed:

  • (0:17) How can we understand the recent dust-up between President Trump and Pfizer’s CEO? What provoked it?
  • (1:00) Why does Pfizer want to see the “blueprint” unveiled —isn’t that supposed to squeeze the drug companies?
  • (2:47) Say more about your “balanced billing” analogy.
  • (4:21) So is Europe like Medicaid, developing countries the uninsured, and the US a commercial payer?
  • (4:59) Isn’t freeloading just good negotiating?
  • (7:23) What about someone like Martin Skrelli, who said just push prices to their logical conclusion: instead of 10% why not 100 or 1000%?
  • (8:52) You mentioned the typical consumer is fairly protected due to fixed deductibles or co-pays. What is the role of PBMs in drug pricing?
  • (11:07)  Would eliminating rebates really drive down costs?
  • (13:37) What other techniques are PBMs using?
  • (15:45) ActiveRADAR is involved in reference pricing. What is it? What implications does it have for PBMs? Are their days numbered?
  • (21:54) Historically generics have helped keep prices under control. How is that working out now? How should we think about “generics” or “similars” for biotech products?

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

The state of healthcare interoperability. Podcast with eHealth Collaborative CEO Micky Tripathi

published date
July 26th, 2018 by
MAeHC CEO, Micky Tripathi

Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative CEO Micky Tripathi has been leading the charge on electronic health records and interoperability for more than 15 years, pre-dating HITECH, meaningful use and the Affordable Care Act. In this podcast, we caught up on the state of play, including :

  • (0:13) How e-health looks today compared with what was envisioned originally
  • (3:01) How interoperability has evolved
  • (11:23) What’s wrong with TEFCA and why he calls it a “regulatory” wet blanket
  • (25:12) The Argonaut Project

As usual, Micky is informative and unafraid to take a stand.

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.