Saturday, December 9, 2023

What happens next: 10 non-COVID healthcare predictions for 2021

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Hello, readers.

We’ve had an annual tradition lately here at The Capsule: showcasing the wise wisdom and insights of Venrock partners Bob Kocher and Bryan Roberts, a duo of veteran healthcare investors, on what the coming year reserve for industry.

Bob and Bryan were sharing their thoughts with us for years and, as strange and chaotic as 2020 was, this year is no different.

For the 2021 edition of their crystal ball, the pair have 10 predictions for the coming year. And in a twist, they cover important medical topics and trends that born all have to do with COVID.

the the full list is here. But here are some great choices:

Virtual care for Medicare takes off

While there aren’t many silver liners to COVID-19, one benefit has been the dramatic increase in the uptake of telemedicine. Medicare covers emergency telemedicine for the first time.

We believe Medicare will make telemedicine coverage permanent. This will lead older people, like millennials, to prefer telemedicine over in-person visits for much of their care.

Recent evidence and a explosion in the use of telemedicine during the pandemic certainly supports this prediction.

No action on drug prices

With the promise to invent and commercialize several COVID-19 vaccines in record time, public opinion will become very positive for pharmaceutical companies. This will crush all efforts to regulate drug prices for next year (at least).

And of course, no list of predictions would be complete without a Amazon yell…

Amazon pharmacy is gaining ground

We have always been skeptical of the rise of major technologies in the healthcare sector. One exception is Amazon’s new pharmacy.

We believe Amazon will gain traction since COVID-19 led to a huge increase in e-commerce for everything and made pharmacies look like nursing homes: scary places to visit because they’re filled with sick people and possibly contagious from COVID-19.

Amazon’s consumer confidence, incredible delivery speed and low prices will allow them to take a significant share of retail pharmacies.

Get more info from Bob and Bryan here, keep reading for today’s news, and see you next week.

Sy Mukherjee


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