Experts meet to discuss health care innovations during COVID
Merck’s chief patient officer, Julie Gerberding, joins the Fortune Global Forum to discuss breakthrough innovations in health care
November 3, 2020
As the world grapples with the challenges of a worldwide pandemic, all eyes are on the role of the pharmaceutical industry and the work being done to accelerate the development of prevention and treatment for SARS-Co-V-2/COVID-19. Equally important is planning for the global use of these medicines and vaccines – and preparing for future pandemics.
On October 27, Julie Gerberding, executive vice president, chief patient officer, Merck, shared her expertise with the Fortune Global Forum during a virtual discussion on “Breakthrough Innovations in Health Care”. Moderated by Clifton Leaf, editor-in-chief of Fortune, Julie was joined by other leaders in health care, including Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, president and CEO of the Mayo Clinic, Stephan Sturm, chairman of the management board at Fresenius, and Jennifer Taubert, EVP and worldwide chairman of Pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson.
Thinking differently about health systems
“Science is on our side in terms of vaccines and treatments and immunologic therapies to this disease.”
Dr. Julie Gerberdingexecutive vice president, chief patient officer, Merck
“The fact that there are more than 700 products in various stages of development around the world is miraculous. We’ve got to think differently about how we design our health system and integrate across these various components of the ecosystem so that we can be better prepared but also much more agile in our response. We’ve learned a lot, but I think it’s kind of time to come together and have a real serious conversation about what does this mean for the next pandemic,” says Julie Gerberding, executive vice president, chief patient officer, Merck.
Innovating for the future
Gerberding told the Forum that “We need to invest in the critical functions, as if we are fighting a common enemy, which in fact we are, Mother Nature, in the case of emerging infectious diseases. There is a lot of opportunity for innovation and Artificial Intelligence in the space of predicting when spillovers and emergencies could occur and that involves animal sciences, echo sciences as well as climate and human sciences. We need to think differently about ‘how do we recognize the hot spots for these problems to emerge’ so that we can more quickly identify them and hopefully quench them or even preemptively prevent them in the first place.”