The death of the blockbuster model has been talked about for a long time. I think that argument misses the point, quite frankly.
Even the smallest company needs a certain amount of revenue to justify the expense of clinical trials. I don't think we'll
ever enter an era where Pfizer is deliberately trying to develop products that only bring in $30 or 40 million a year. I don't
think they can justify that.
Les Funtleyder, analyst, Miller Tabak
Consider the Big Picture
Even though people can see the slow death of the blockbuster model, times are still reasonably good. There are many forces
that advise against change. We look at companies as being sort of an aggregation of resources, processes, and priorities.
Resources, which are things like your brands and your sales force, can be changed fairly easily if you have a mandate from
the executive suite. But it's very hard to change your processes and your priorities, because of the culture that people have
grown up with in pharma.
What you need is support from the middle- and upper-middle levels of management. You need cross-functional, cross-business
units—groups of people who will find a new vision for what the company is and what business it's in—to initially identify
what are some quick wins and small steps to generate momentum while still having a longer-term vision of what the company
should become. If you're asking people to change what they do, to tailor it based on the drug on the market, then decentralization
becomes really important.
Steve Wunker, partner, Innosight
In a Nutshell...
Despite the magnitude of the issues facing Big Pharma, industry observers seem to agree on some common solutions—even if they
didn't always see eye to eye on the finer details of execution.
- Pharma stands to lose $60-80 billion in revenue and capital. "Companies are beginning to move away from a focus on research and development to a much greater emphasis on search and development,"
said Terry Hisey, managing principal at Deloitte Consulting.
- Physicians are sick and tired of all the racket. "Pharma will move away from episodic marketing and toward more multichannel marketing, which empowers both the consumers as
well as the healthcare practitioners," said Kolby Barbera, pharmaceutical practice leader at marketing firm Quaero.
- FDA approval is half the battle. "In the past, the big focus used to be on product approval, but there really needs to be a focus now on driving product adoption,"
Hisey said. "They also need to focus on demand creation, not just simply sales."
Ride the Biomarker Revolution
Molecular diagnostics will increasingly play a role in developing therapeutics. And I think the biomarker revolution will
continue, where companies will be looking at how to better tailor a therapeutic to a patient and minimize the risk profile.