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July 18, 2019

Podcast #4: The World of Pharma and Digital Health: Pill, Pill Plus, Plus?

Commentary
Chandana Fitzgerald
&
A long journey from Ukraine to New Jersey, Eugene Borukhovich had explored the entrepreneur in him during his younger college days - raking in the moolah with a ‘multi dimensional marketing’ idea prior to the dot com boom. However, this failed to satisfy his hunger for impact. Fast forward many different jobs including Metco and Health 2.0 that taught him valuable lessons he uses today, Eugene has leveraged his skills in technology, business and education to build his healthcare career. 

It’s a whirlwind discussion as he unveils his thoughts on the American PBM model, on changing dynamics (moving from one who wanted to seek out large companies to one who gets seeked out now), innovative pharma companies, margins on digital health assets, his favorite start-ups and more!

As Eugene would describe it, ‘’one dark night in Berlin’’, he met the founder of Grants for Apps (G4A) and decided to join them. The G4A Program incubates start-ups that Bayer helps shape into tangible, meaningful products and companies (helping them with everything from receiving investment, to finding the right partners for R&D or commercialization) . The early stage accelerator that started in Berlin has since spread through franchises across the globe, spearheaded by passionate individuals within Bayer. His favourite start up from last year’s cohort is Kinaptic that does muscle memory training for stroke rehab using augmented reality. 

We simply had to ask - Is Pharma building a brand new franchise with these digital assets? The jury is still out. With a multitude of possibilities - just pill, pill plus, just ‘plus’. There are critical questions to be answered, esp in relation to profitability and margins that may help understand what bets pharma will place  - how will existing drug therapies compare with digital therapies? Eugene may not have all the answers, but he certainly leaves us with enough food for thought. As a pharmaceutical company, the one to succeed in absorbing this new identity as a tech-enabled drug maker will be the one who learns the quickest, makes changes the quickest and show significant outcomes. 

If not for this kick ass job, you would find Eugene with his wifey tag teaming on her health coaching initiatives to help people live healthier and longer. Sweet answer for a Russian six footer. 

Episode #4 Eugene Borukhovich

Available now on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher and Castbox

About Eugene: Eugene Borukhovich is a serial intra and entrepreneur currently serving as a Global Head of Digital Health (G4A) at Bayer. He is also an Entrepreneur in Residence at Personal Health Solutions (PHS) Capital, as well as an advisor to numerous digital health startups. Eugene enjoys mentoring startups and an avid blogger about innovation, digital health and startups. He can be found at @HealthEugene or HealthEugene.com

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