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Lead Consultant:

Tim Lynch
Mr. Lynch founded Info-Lynk Consulting Services in 1985 because of the belief that all too often information is the missing link in health care decision-making.
Read Tim's bio

Publications:

Healthcare Advocacy: Only God doesn’t need an advisor
2008 Care Giver and Early Stage Conference, Edmonton, October 25 2008

Beyond the end of the stethoscope, Richmond Review,
A commentary on the need for integrating low risk private surgical facilities into the Canada's public health system.
March 30 2006

MDs are their own worst enemy, Richmond Review,
A commentary on the battle between Dr. Brian Day and Dr. Jack Burak for Presidency of the Canadian Medical Association.
August 10, 2006

Executive Summary
BC 2003 Forest Fires: A Test of Quality Management in Health Services Delivery

January 30, 2004
Prepared forThe Ministry of Health Planning Victoria, BC & The Interior Health Authority Kelowna, BC
(PDF file size 125Kb)

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OF SARS:
A QUANTUM LEAP OR A PARADIGM SHIFT?

Risk Management in Canadian Health Care
VOLUME 5, NUMBER 6
DECEMBER 2003
(PDF file size 469Kb)

SARS in Toronto - Acting locally, reacting globally
Submitted on April 11th 2003 to International Travel Insurance Journal

The Romanow Commission: An Opportunity Lost
Hospital Quarterly Journal Spring 2003
(PDF file size 120Kb)
Background Information

Vaccination Programs in Canada:
Summary of a study conducted by Info-Lynk Consulting in October 1989

Health insurance - don't leave home without it
ITIJ Journal Spring 2002

Primary Care Reform in Ontario: The Emperor Has No Clothes
www.hospitalquarterly.com

Medicare in a modern world
The Vancouver Sun, March 14 2002

American / Canadian relations, post September 11th: accommodation or surrender?
ITIJ Journal
Nov/Dec 2001

Choice in health care
The Globe & Mail
Nov. 12 2001

London, UK Travel Insurance Conference Regulations of Canadian Travel Industry
May 2001

Vancouver Hosts Insurance Summit, Report on meeting of the International Insurance Society 2000 seminar, Vancouver B.C.,

DEBATING THE DATA: Is there an entrepreneurial option to primary-care reform? Medical Post
-May 4, 1999-

HEALTH CARE DELIVERY: Rewarding excellence is the solution
Medical Post
-February 9, 1999-

A Book Review: The Billion Dollar Molecule,
Toronto Biotechnology Initiative, (TBI) Bioscan, June 1998

 

Services / Health Care

The Billion-Dollar Molecule: One company's quest for the perfect drug.

By Barry Werth, 455 pages, Simon & Schuster, $19.00

During my association with TBI over the past decade I have often fantasized about what it must be like to be part of a start-up biotech company. How does one go about defining a business case around the possible success of a scientific hypothesis?

Testing such hypothesis is not the work of any single individual. Molecular science requires multi-disciplinary teamwork of highly qualified individuals and considerable investment in state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation. How are these people held together and how are the laboratories equipped?

Barry Werth's book "The Billion-Dollar Molecule" is a revelation in addressing these kind of questions. On the surface it is a highly professional journalist's eyewitness account of the maturation of Vertex, a molecular design company located within the shadow of Harvard University.

Werth was given the privilege of attending most critical meetings held at Vertex during the early 1990s, interviewing key persons associated with the process and conducting research so that he explains the science and portrays the lives of the scientists; their background, their limitations and their jealousies.

The result is a blow-by-blow account of how wealth can be created from science. Perhaps more realistically it can be described as the story of three egos. Joshua Boger, the founder and CEO of Vertex, an un-ashamed and totally committed scientific capitalist who knows he can succeed where his former employer Merck can only try.

Thomas Earl Starzl, head of the Pittsburgh transplantation team, your self proclaimed eminent clinician who believes he can save humanity through his ability to fight off immune reactions to all kinds of solid organ transplants.

Stuart Schreiber, your consummate Harvard scientist, portrays himself as the fountain of all knowledge on molecular structural design. The only thing they have in common is the love affair each has with molecule FK-506 and its various cousins.

Through these three personalities we are introduced to the rivalry and intrigue that exist among the business, clinical and academic communities around the "commercialization of science". A real value of this book is the human dimension that is given to the personalities of all the scientists involved with the embryonic stages of Vertex.

Reading the book can only be made all the more easier if one has a scientific education. However, it is not essential. Werth provides a very good lay interpretation of the underlying science that is the motivating force for driving the characters to play out their roles.

It becomes evident that the traditional boundaries around chemistry, physics and biology are less relevant. The excitement for me peaks around my hero, spectroscopist Yamashita, and the rivalry between crystallography and NMR.

In many respects this book provides a history of the pharmaceutical industry, which could also be construed as the history of Merck, or as it is  called "mother Merck". Besides its appeal to TBI members this book is a must read for all those members of the Canadian scientific establishment who believe that good science is only possible if it is MRC or NCIC funded.

This book should be read be all Canadian science undergraduates. Hopefully, it will inspire some of them to adopt the drive and confidence of a Joshua Boger. To the extent that countries matter in this truly global business, his is the kind of pioneering spirit that will build nations in the future.

The tantalizing description of trying to cut a deal with Britain's Glaxo, as it was called then, and settling instead for Japan's Chugai, along with the agony and the ecstasy of the initial IPO is something Canadian civil servants who complain about the cost of drugs should read.

The book concludes with a deal between Vertex and Burroughs Wellcome and the saga continues via www.vpharm.com where we find that Vertex has formed an alliance with our own Biochem Pharma. By way of a confession, when you are on the net, check out the discussion deck on health technology assessment in Canada at www.infolynk.ca. I do tend to promote publications that support my biases.

Tim Lynch, Consultant: Health Services Reimbursement Info-Lynk Consulting Services Inc.  Send comments to tim@infolynk.ca

 

 

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