The New Building Blocks for Blockbusters - Pharmaceutical Executive

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The New Building Blocks for Blockbusters


Pharmaceutical Executive


The pursuit of both single-pill products and multi-indication blockbusters can therefore easily cause confusion and conflicts about who is in charge. Manage-ment has to establish clear lines of responsibility and conflict-resolution mechanisms to avoid prolonged disagreements and ensuing product development delays. The most effective way to resolve issues may be to require single-pill and multi-indication efforts to report outside of the established TA hierarchy, with access to TA experts as needed.

R&D and commercial organizations don't have a history of successful collaboration. For these long-standing differences not to derail the pursuit of new strategies requires senior-management involvement to ensure effective information sharing and coordination. In doing so, executives need to acknowledge that the two units need to focus on different issues and that the number of meaningful interface points between the two is limited. Management's task is therefore to keep both organizations headed in the same direction on parallel tracks rather than striving to make them work hand-in-hand on a daily basis. (See "Who Calls the Shots?")

Pharmaceutical companies will have to create mechanisms through which commercial and R&D groups can share information, engage in a dialog, and make joint decisions. They must develop coordinating mechanisms that enable the new projects to benefit from existing TAs' expertise without being delayed, or worse still, derailed by potential conflicts for control. But the effort will pay off. The new strategies, although more complex and more effort intensive than the old blockbuster approach, point to the future. And companies that want to be successful need to aggressively embrace them and make them work.


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