Interview with Brian Caveney of LabCorp

Brian joined LabCorp in September 2017 to serve as Chief Medical Officer for the enterprise. As CMO, he helps drive our company’s clinical strategies around health policy and regulatory efforts, value-based care models and clinical standards of care in our changing health care payment landscape. Prior to joining LabCorp, Brian served a variety of roles at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina, including Chief Medical Officer. He was responsible for healthcare program strategy, care management, network provider contracting, medical coverage policy, medical expense initiatives, care quality and pharmacy. Read his full bio.

Interview with Brian Caveney of LabCorp

Q: What need is LabCorp addressing?

A: The timeless issues LabCorp continues to address are those related to delivering world-class diagnostics solutions, bringing innovative medicines to patients faster and using technology to improve the delivery of healthcare. Our innovations help to shorten clinical trial times and expand therapeutic options and diagnostics for doctors, positively affecting quality and cost.

Q: What are the products and/or services LabCorp offers/develops to address this need? What makes LabCorp unique?

A: LabCorp understands that one size does not always fit all, as the future of healthcare is personal. By bringing together world-class diagnostics through LabCorp Diagnostics and end-to-end drug development capabilities through Covance Drug Development, LabCorp is uniquely positioned at the intersection of research and patient care to enable more precise and individualized healthcare.

Q: What is your role at LabCorp and what excites you about your work?

A: Every day, I am amazed and impressed by the high level of scientific talent that we have across LabCorp Diagnostics and Covance Drug Development; the level of commitment that employees have to our mission of improving health and improving lives; and our ability to deliver world-class solutions to doctors and patients navigating the increasingly complex healthcare system.

Much of my focus is on our three strategic initiatives: value-based care, consumer engagement and streamlining drug development. LabCorp has chosen to focus on these initiatives because they are the areas where we can bring the most value. More specifically, we are addressing the empowerment of consumers in managing their own healthcare, and exploring how we can use diagnostics to improve healthcare decision-making and control costs. Another area where we can make a big difference is in helping our clients bring medicines to market faster by addressing the time and complexity of clinical trials and patient recruitment.

Q: When thinking about LabCorp and the domain LabCorp is working in, what are some of the recent breakthroughs that are propelling the field forward and how will they impact healthcare?

A: LabCorp’s broad portfolio of tests includes many options — from companion diagnostics and pharmacogenetics to genomics and therapeutic drug monitoring — that can help providers identify the right drug, at the right dose, for the right patient.

The majority of drug therapies in development today are driven by biomarkers, or laboratory assays that can indicate whether patients have a particular condition or disease state. These biomarker-driven efforts are what can lead to the development of the appropriate companion diagnostic assays, or in certain situations, a complementary diagnostic. LabCorp is the market leader for the development, validation, and commercialization of companion diagnostics, which are key drivers of personalized medicine.

Additionally, biologics are the fastest-growing drug class and make up more than one-third of the pharmaceutical pipeline. Biologic drugs—which are used to treat many different diseases and conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis—can not only be expensive, but also highly variable in effectiveness from patient to patient. Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is an area of growth in precision medicine due to increased demand for better treatment outcomes and minimum side effects. TDM is known to promote better patient outcomes and cost savings for payers. One study found a cost savings of 28 to 34 percent through the use of some TDM tests. LabCorp offers the most comprehensive offerings of TDM tests available for many of the highest-grossing prescription drugs on the market.

Q: What are the short-term challenges that LabCorp and its peers are facing?

A: As always, there are a myriad of trends and challenges on the horizon, particularly as our industry experiences rapid changes. As healthcare regulatory and payment systems transform, and the industry experiences cuts to government funding, we continue to innovate our business to address needs for the customer segments we serve across the healthcare continuum, from consumers and physicians to managed care partners and biopharmaceutical companies.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with the PMWC audience?

A: Collectively, we need to continue building a solid evidence base for the appropriate use of advanced diagnostics that can help improve clinical outcomes, reduce medication errors, and impact the total cost of care. If we can demonstrate those attributes, precision medicine will flourish in the future.