I see a lot of pseudoscience nonsense when I do research. I usually move past it but a CB Insights colleague shared this with me which I thought was too good to not share here.
More people are looking to “science” or “research” to make the best decision, so more companies slap on some science-y sounding thing to make their product seem rigorously tested or personalized for you. Everything from diets catered to your genome to sleeping aids that are “proven” to reduce anxiety (with a link to a n<50 study from a decade ago with a massive standard deviation).
If you have any good pseudoscience examples send them to me.
In November, I wrote about how pure-play PBMs like Express Scripts no longer make sense in a post CVS-Aetna world. Their $67B acquisition (including debt) by Cigna cements that idea.
Cigna is going hard after years of virtually no investment or acquisition activity at all. 2017 has been a big year for the company on both fronts as it leans more into new technology and figures out ways to make platforms and data work for them, and creates new avenues to access consumers. A snapshot of their recent investments from their CB Insights profile below.
Supply side rektonomics
As healthcare continues to verticalize, we’re starting to see some tension between platforms, their suppliers, and their customers.
In tech land, an analogy would be Amazon. After creating a flourishing marketplace and logistics engine, it decided it would make its own line of electronics products. That’s bad news for the existing electronics companies that sell on Amazon, but many of the independent or smaller players really see no choice but to now compete with the platform they sell on.
In healthcare land, we’re seeing this across different areas. What happens to the other health insurers that want to use Express Scripts now that it’s part of a competing insurer? When hospitals start rolling out their own insurance plans, what happens to the OTHER plans that want to include that hospital in their network? When a drug company is betting on the data from a cancer EMR it now owns, can other pharma companies depend on access to that data?
This is going to be the big question for regulators when reviewing these deals. Amazon has so far avoided scrutiny largely because alternatives exist and Amazon is lowering costs for consumers. As healthcare costs for individuals continue to grow at an increasing pace and the number of alternatives gets smaller, these deals might not pass the same bar.