As the president of a global healthcare consulting company, I’ve traveled the globe extensively to meet with the largest healthcare providers and government agencies for a singular purpose: To advise them on strategies to penetrate the U.S. consumer market.
The discussions almost always follow a similar path: The providers want to offer everything to everyone. My consultants quickly squelch this approach in lieu of one to three defined “Centers of Excellence” around which they can build a differentiated product. The conversation evolves and the providers realize that any product easily available in the U.S. is difficult to differentiate and sell. So, they start looking outside the boundaries of the FDA.
The discussion almost always circles around to one area of interest: Stem cell treatments. Since the FDA does not currently endorse many stem cell procedures, international facilities and governments are foaming at the mouth over the opportunity to offer cutting-edge stem cell treatments to U.S. consumers.
This has become the “Holy Grail” for medical tourism/global healthcare destination facilities and governments.
However, this all may be about to change with the recently approved stem cell trial in the U.S. If successful, international facilities may lose their differentiated advantage. Click this link for more details on the upcoming trail. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/12/EDTH1FRMJ8.DTL
“In at least one sense, the trial is already a victory. The political controversy around stem cells resulted in funding delays for scientific research, and many scientists were afraid that other countries would beat the United States to the trial stage.”
The morale of the story: If you are an international provider currently developing your business strategy around a stem cell product, I strongly suggest you act quickly. As the old saying goes, “those who snooze, lose.”
Category: General Strategy