Pharma Be Nimble. Quick!

Nov 03, 2008
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Recently Mancef Slaoui, chief of Glaxo’s R&D, was asked about the changes he’s seen in the last few years. The biggest, he said, is “an acute and profound realization of the major challenges in front of us—and the willingness to grab them by the horns and deal with them, rather than pretend that we will save a bit more money and try a little harder and find this big blockbuster that’s going to save the situation."

If indeed pharma finally has accepted market change and the end of the blockbuster era, what will a new era look like? And what do companies have to do right off to make it happen?

To find out, Pharmaceutical Executive’s Consultants Confidential asked a select group of eight consultants to share their ideas.

Almost all agreed that the new era “will reward focus and efficiency in R&D, commercial development, supply chain and sales and marketing,” as Archstone consultants Michael Eckstut and Nancy Bersteinsson said. “Overall, there will be greater use of partnerships/alliances, more outsourcing, and more effective use of information processes and technology.”

Consultants are in a unique position to be an active part of this new, nimble era. They can offer what John Campbell likens to Just-In-Time manufacturing. In this case, knowledge is being transferred just in time. Along with it, says Campbell, comes the possibility for a new kind of partnering and the opportunity to work on a “larger volume of strategic and operationally focused projects.”

For in the wise words of Conrad Heilman, SVP of Tunnell Consulting: “The best consultants leave you not with just a problem solved, but with a way of problem solving, not just with the work well done but with a way of doing work well.”

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