THE NEW PHARMA
Greater connectivity between organization and market environment speaks to an overarching theme: Pharmaceutical companies
are increasingly looking to move beyond product to solution; to become a total partner rather than just a supplier. Local industry executives almost unanimously agree that this will define the "new pharma" of tomorrow. "The long-term sustainability
of the business will come through our ability to show that we are able to create solutions rather than just deliver a product,"
Alie Tigchelhoff, Managing Director, Utrecht Science Park
Local industry executives almost unanimously agree that this will define the new pharma of tomorrow. "Just a product is not enough. New pharma needs to be solution-oriented rather than focusing only on the pharmaceutical 'hardware'—that
is, the product," says Münster. "On top of that, there should not be the slightest doubt that we will deliver top quality
and that we are ready and able to ensure high standards. The long-term sustainability of the business will come through our
ability to show that we are able to create solutions rather than just delivering a product." Partnering with the industry
and reshaping organizational processes have played a large part in Novo Nordisk's success in the Netherlands. "Novo Nordisk
wants to change diabetes, with products being just a part of the process," says Netherlands general manager Erik Lommerde.
"If you want to be involved in diabetes care, the only right way forward is to become a complete stakeholder in the treatment
process. It is also why we have been changing our organizational setup in ways that are probably not ideal for short-term
commercial interests, but are ways that we believe are necessary in order to be a long-term partner in diabetes care on a
local and regional level. For example, we have been setting up account managers with no commercial objectives." In practice,
Novo Nordisk has the ambition to incentivize its representatives based on HBA1C indicators—a measurement of glycated hemoglobin
in the blood, often considered one of the best ways to check for diabetes. In linking representatives with eventual HBA1C
tests, Novo Nordisk's incentives would be "purely based on improvements in quality of care, not on how many products they
sell," says Lommerde.
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL ... AND EFFICIENT
Comfortably growing between 3 and 5 percent in the Netherlands on the backs of overall market expansion and Victoza, its main
driver, Novo Nordisk feels quite at home in the Netherlands. Despite its vast global presence spanning offices in 76 countries,
the Netherlands is a role-model market for Novo Nordisk.
"We are the 10th largest Novo Nordisk affiliate, so our absolute contribution to the group's performance is significant,"
according to Lommerde. "Generally speaking, we are typically ahead of the game in the Netherlands with a lot of new initiatives
taking place here. Healthcare reforms happen in every country, of course, and are not specific to the Netherlands. But because
we are smaller and industry players know each other a little bit better, some initiatives are very well organized and take
place a bit faster here. For that reason I think that a good way for a company to get acquainted with new initiatives is to
roll them out first in the Netherlands. This is also a cultural element of the Netherlands—we are eager to try new things
and are not afraid to fail sometimes."
Curd Lejægere, Managing Director Benelux, Daiichi-Sankyo
Not being afraid to fail has defined Actelion in the Netherlands. General manager Han Brouwer recalls the "ultimate entrepreneurial
spirit" of starting the Netherlands-Benelux affiliate from nothing. "We did not have a product since it was not yet approved
by the European Medicines Agency. I started from my garage and worked from my wooden desk with a 25-meter cable for my telephone,"
he recounts. From that rawness Actelion has leveraged the small Dutch landscape and its orphan drug portfolio to build and
shape new pharmaceutical markets. "We are selling orphan drugs which make up a specialty market, with the dynamics being much
different than traditional big pharmaceutical companies." Playing a different ballgame in a small market, a key component
of Actelion's success is its unique relationship between talent and corporate strategy. This orphan drug business needs a
different approach, which means that we have to look for unique people with different competency sets than most pharmaceutical
companies. Whereas in traditional pharma most people are part of the system, we try to build the system around the competency
set of individuals," say Brouwer.
With 12 affiliates throughout Europe, Daiichi-Sankyo has the largest presence of any Japanese pharmaceutical company in Europe.
The company's European Group goal is to average 10 percent annual growth and €1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) in net sales by 2012.
While the Big Five markets will clearly drive growth, the Netherlands carries a large weight in group performance when regionally
clustered as a Benelux entity. Referring to Benelux's relative importance, Curd Lejaegere, Managing Director Benelux, Daiichi-Sankyo,
notes that "the top five markets are responsible for more than 80 percent of that €1.2 billion goal, with the rest of the
countries in Europe contributing to the other 20 percent. Within the region, however, Benelux is more than favorably competing
with the UK and our turnover is in fact higher than theirs." In addition to turnover, the strength of the Benelux cluster
offers advantages to the Daiichi-Sankyo Group and, by extension, serves as a model for any pharmaceutical company spreading
across Europe. "Future affiliates, can learn from our experience in product-launching sequences. All of the countries lined
up next to each other have launch sequences. Products can be spread all over Europe but you have to study how to implement
them and extract the best lessons from the successes and failures, which is what we have gained considerable experience from
in this region," he notes.