Innovating Around Innovation

Sep 01, 2011
By Pharmaceutical Executive Editors

Richard Barker
Our R&D model is broken, comes the cry from the lab. Getting approval now requires unaffordably large trials, say the developers. Proving value has become a fourth hurdle, add the market access executives. Existing marketing and sales investments now look like the wrong people using the wrong tools to do the wrong things to the wrong target audiences, complain business managers. Meanwhile the patients ask: What does all this mean for the medicines we need? All this is very bad news for the old order, but could actually be good news for real innovators.

We need to rethink the whole concept of pharmaceutical innovation, around four "Grand Challenges:"

» 1. Where will tomorrow's discovery research be done—academia, medical charities, SMEs, traditional pharma companies, or creative combinations of all four?

» 2. How can we escape from today's burdensome development and regulatory paradigms?

» 3. How will future innovations be marketed, in an era of payer-driven value assessment?

» 4. Will pharma companies take full advantage of new technologies to both drive and track patient access, optimum use, and desired outcomes?

The answers to these questions will determine whether the industry enters a new, but very different, era of prosperity—or continues its current decline.

If you know where to look, there are optimistic signs of new life and new thinking in all four of these areas.

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