Introduction: Pharma's New Action Heroes

Product managers are emerging as key figures as globalization and competition make maintaining a winning portfolio a lot harder, more complex, and vastly more important
Mar 03, 2009

What's changing in pharma? Everything. And that goes for product managers. In volume 9 of Pharmaceutical Executive's Successful Product Manager's Handbook, we explain what today's product manager needs to know to succeed, and why. It really is pharma's new most important job, as explained in detail in a bonus article available only online at

Being a key player means being able to communicate—and listen—two of the top five skills deemed necessary for a pharma product manager to succeed. Effective and persuasive communication can be learned. On page 16, Genentech Senior Product Manager Melanie Ebojo provides a guide to follow.

The economy is scary these days, but it's still possible to maintain and even launch a successful brand—as Anshal Purohit explains on page 12. And for a product manager's approach to the new national pastime—budget cutting—See Eric Bolesh's Budgeting Brands in Troubled Times online at

The product manager's new key role says more about the changing industry than anything else. New times require new strategies, and social marketing couldn't be more happening for everyone except pharma. They demur, claiming it's far too daring for their tastes. And yet on page 8 you'll find some less risky ways of doing it, many of which you probably never heard of.

— Marylyn Donahue, Special Projects Editor

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