When Two Heads are Better - Pharmaceutical Executive

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When Two Heads are Better
R&D president isn't one job–it's two. And to get them both done, maybe it's time to create a new position: COO of R&D


Pharmaceutical Executive


Conclusions The scale and complexity of today's R&D enterprises exceed the capability of a single individual to determine the scientific direction and make key operational decisions. To continuously improve operational performance, R&D organizations need to create a COO position, and give the COO the mandate to manage operations across all of R&D in an integrated manner. Large R&D organizations also may consider appointing COOs of discovery, pre-clinical and development to support the COO.

These changes—like any significant change—will encounter skepticism and initial resistance. But R&D labs can no longer afford to ignore operational issues if they are to meaningfully reduce the time and cost of bringing new therapies to market. By appointing COOs for R&D with broad operational mandates, biotech and pharmaceutical companies can ensure that operational issues get the attention they urgently require.

Jan Malek is a leader in PA Consulting's life science practice. He can be reached at [617] 460-0200.


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