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Healthcare is one of those subjects I obsess about. The dollars are huge (e.g., $3 trillion in the USA). It is uber- complicated. And as the government is perpetually involved, things are always economically contorted. You can find ridiculous profits and ROIC’s in healthcare, such as you would never find in free markets. It is politically distorted capitalism writ large – which I like.
Healthcare deals also tend to scare off lots of smart investors. Human disease is inherently complicated. Healthcare services largely defy attempts at standardization. And healthcare investing requires a mix of business, clinical and policy knowledge – a pretty rare combination. So lots of smart investors just stay away. If you have a room of 100 investors, virtually everyone will have an opinion about Wal Mart and Apple. But as soon as you mention a medical device company, 90% go silent. There is just a lot less competition for healthcare investments – which is a big thing in private deals.
And if you add China into this discussion (i.e., clinical + business + politics + China), you pretty much eliminate the other 10%. When it comes to China healthcare investments, I usually find myself the only person in the room with an opinion.
The article is continued here (page 11)