- 10 months ago
10 February 2o23
Homegrown consultancy HTAnalysts is celebrating 21 years and as the company continues to grow and evolve, it is challenging the healthcare sector to both think differently, to act responsibly, and to measure its impact.
Established in 2002 by leading health economist Adele Weston and long-term MSAC member and ESC Deputy Chair, Associate Professor Sarah Norris, the women grew the business to become the leading health economics consultancy in Australia.
Acquired by the United Health Group in 2010, the company was later purchased by its current owners, Alasdair Godfrey and Colman Taylor, in 2017 and the pair continue to push the business – and the healthcare clients they serve – into new areas.
HTAnalysts celebrated their 21st birthday at View by Sydney on Wednesday night with many leading industry people and patient representatives in attendance*.
Taylor told the audience when they acquired the business, Godfrey took the title of Chief Executive Officer leaving Taylor to come up with his own job title. He chose Chief Vision Officer, and in true HTA fashion, their 21st birthday bash included a panel discussion about sustainability and corporate responsibility.
The panel was facilitated by Taylor and featured Previsior CEO Adam Wardell, Humanise Health founder and outstanding patient advocate Krystal Barter, Concrete Playground MD Alex Light, and Godfrey.
Light said brand purpose and positioning were essential for companies in today’s world, pointing to FMCG as a sector doing it well.
“It has become a very trendy thing in marketing recently to cumulate impact, the reason being that consumer values are changing from generation to generation, and younger people in particular are starting to base a lot more purchase decisions on the alignment that they have with the company’s values,” Light said.
“As a result, we are starting to see more and more companies not only trying to have an impact but communicating it as well. The challenge is where you are saying one thing and not doing it down the line.”
Godfrey said healthcare companies did not realise the power they had to create an impact, and certainly weren’t communicating it.
“The point is, healthcare companies are creating products that have a direct impact on peoples’ wellness and ultimately, that impact on a human level comes down to peoples’ health and wellbeing,” he said. “What are you doing it for if you’re not doing it for the benefit of people and those around you?”
Barter challenged companies to live their purpose by truly engaging with patients and putting them first by including them early in the conversation and trusting them.
“When you say you put patients first, put them first,” she said. “That is your impact. Don’t tell me – do it. No excuses. We have an opportunity to change this narrative, and we can do it together.
“…Slogans mean nothing. They’re just words unless you wake up every day and you live it and you do it. We have a collective responsibility to the people, to the earth, to each other, to do something that matters.
“…Call it purpose, impact, whatever you want to call it. Just get up and be a good human, but be able to show it, say it, and prove it. Until you can do those three things, don’t talk about it. Don’t have a bloody slogan. Don’t put it on a billboard. Don’t talk to organisations.”
Wardell said communication around impact is currently ranked below corporate outcomes despite pharma companies delivering a health economic argument to universal players.
“We don’t measure over the long term what we deliver back, not just in the disease state and the cost of disease but the productivity moving forward,” he said.
“There’s a really big opportunity, and HTAnalysts is at the forefront of really trying to quantify what that looks like.”
Wardell said companies doing this well were “changing the conversation”, pointing to Illumina which 15 years ago said it would get the cost of genomic sequencing down to the cost of a pizza. Tests are now around $50.
“It’s about the impact that’s being created, because they told the story about speed,” he said.
Light said when it came to tracking impact, this has to originate from the business itself and not the marketing department. He said Unilever reports on its impact on a “triple bottom line” of profit, climate and people, and “that’s the model for doing it right”.
*MedNews attended HTAnalysts’ 21st birthday as a guest of the company.