Summit News

Quotes from Reuters Health Summit on Wednesday

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Top executives and officials from the healthcare industry joined Reuters reporters at the Health Summit in New York this week. Here is a list of top quotes:

“Our industry has massively shot itself in the foot by never really telling the story about the return on investment that’s required as a public company, coupled with the amount of investment and risk that we take.”

--Angus Russell, chief executive of Shire Plc SHP.L, countering critics who claim drug costs are too high

“When you’re returning cash to shareholders, it’s an implicit recognition that there’s not a meaningful way to invest it internally.”

--Tim van Biesen, head of Bain & Co’s healthcare practice

“We don’t have to talk about Phase III compounds still to be approved -- we can talk about (drug) approvals, and so long as that continues, we will be generating cash instead of generating hope.”

--Jon Symonds, chief financial officer at Novartis AG NOVN.VX

“We have not yet seen, nor are we seeing, any dramatic increase in (medical) utilization.”

--Ed Ludwig, chief executive officer, Becton Dickinson & Co BDX.N

“I think the conflict of interest rules do make it difficult (to get good people on FDA advisory panels) in that they exclude a lot of people who would be the best qualified to be on the panels. And I understand why they are there. Of course you don’t want people who are not impartial to be on them. But, like a lot of things, I think the pendulum swings too far in one direction and it probably does make life overly restrictive.”

--George Scangos, CEO of Biogen Idec Inc BIIB.O, on U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules that bar experts with certain financial ties to drugmakers from recommending new medicines.

“The financial reports would indicate that health insurers are doing well in the market. Profits are robust.”

-- U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, when asked about the performance of health insurers in the wake of the new healthcare overhaul law.