STAT

The pull of JPM may be irresistible, but will San Francisco’s problems push people away?

The trip to San Francisco for the J.P Morgan Healthcare Conference is getting harder to justify each year, executives and investors told STAT.

SAN FRANCISCO — If you were to ask health-care and biotech executives where they want to be next week — where they truly want to be — they will not say San Francisco. Anywhere, they will say, but San Francisco.

There’s the garbage and the human excrement on the sidewalks. There’s the mad dash to try find available accommodations. There’s the panhandling, evidence of the city’s handling of its worsening homelessness crisis. Oh, and there’s the $14,000 meeting cubicles and the coffee, available (this is true) for $170 per gallon.

And yet everyone who’s anyone will be here during the four days of “JPM Week” — the biotech industry’s largest and most important business and networking meeting, headlined by the J.P Morgan Healthcare Conference.

The pull of the conference is irresistible, and has been since its founding in 1983. It is the first health-care conference of the year, where companies and investors set expectations for the rest of the year. Licensing deals and acquisitions valued in the billions of dollars can be traced back to meetings first held during JPM Week.

But the soaring costs of JPM Week have

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from STAT

STAT3 min readScience
To Sleep, Perchance To Forget? Scientists Pinpoint In Mice The Neurons That Control Memory While Dreaming
If you wonder why we forget our dreams, new research in mice might answer that question and others related to memory.
STAT4 min read
Opinion: Cokie Roberts: A Beacon For Cancer Survivors Like Me
In full view of her ABC News audience and on the air at NPR, Cokie Roberts lived publicly with breast cancer for 17 years. That's a victory, even if she…
STAT4 min readSociety
Opinion: Constant, Rapid Testing Is Key To Creating The ‘Learning Health System’ Of The Future
The view that health care systems of the future will be "learning health systems" is inspiring. Routine experimentation to identify what works and what doesn't is the way to make…