Sitting on Boston’s south shore, the John F. Kennedy Pesidential Library is both imposing yet not over-stated. A rare treat for me was the opportunity to address the annual meeting of MassMEDIC, the largest regional medical technology association in the USA – and that means the world, I am sure! The speaker’s podium has a backdrop of the water with the City of Boston in the distance and is quite breathtaking. My visit was at the kind request of Doug Lawrence, an old friend and the association’s chairman for the last year. The setting may have been elevating but the issues on the table were very down to earth. Massachusetts, the cradle of US innovation with Harvard and M.I.T. at the core, has enacted legislation that makes it increasingly difficult for doctors to interact with industry.
This is dangerous if it goes too far as we rely on clinicians for both ideas and regular input into the innovation process. The medical profession also rely on us to provide training so that these same new technologies can be used safely and effectively for the benefit of patients. It is very clear that it is in everyone’s interest to create and sustain an environment of trust and reasonable transparency which allows innovative clinicians to continue to develop and use groundbreaking treatments. Massachusetts runs the risk of ‘killing the goose that laid the golden egg’ if it doesn’t get the balance right and we can all learn from their experiences. Effective collaboration is at the core of the industry’s DNA and we must do a better job of explaining why this needs to be so.
– John Wilkinson, Chief Executive Eucomed