Opinion: Trigger Points - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Opinion: Trigger Points
Timing is everything. But when is it right? As pharma begins to confront the looming issue of sales-force downsizing, execs should keep an eye on six factors that can help answer that very question.


Pharmaceutical Executive


Where can we look for innovation in sales and marketing practices? Companies with "blank slates" will have a much easier path to experimentation with new marketing models than firms with a significant vested interest in the tried-and-true way of doing things. Therefore, it seems unlikely that the first company to go to the market with a radically different commercialization model will be one of the industry's major players. Rather, the first truly innovative marketing model will come from the ranks of mid-cap pharma or biotech.

Following the evolution and interaction of all these forces seems a daunting task, and it is tempting to put off consideration for a time when the problem is acute. But now more than ever, companies need a strategic early-warning system to scan their external environment and interpret new developments. With the rapidly changing world confronting pharmaceutical companies, one thing is certain—ignorance is no longer bliss.

Kim D. Slocum is president of KDS Consulting. He can be reached at


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