Innovation: Why is Pharma Scared to Death? - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Innovation: Why is Pharma Scared to Death?
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 Posted Jan 24 2012 05:37AM
The entire concept of operating a pharma company depends on risk assessments so if you consider the elements of innovation it is easy to see why it does not happen. Once a product gets to pass through preclinical the risk increases dramatically and fewer company managements are willing to take the risk whilst individual researchers who would take the risk cannot afford the insurance to do so and are held back by delays caused by regulators being so slow to act at every stage. Whilst I believe that we are still brave ,clever and could innovate I think that that there has developed a mindset amongst goverments and regulators that says calculate the risk then pass
 Posted Jan 26 2012 07:29AM
I think the problem at pharma is different than you describe. There has been so much merging, acquiring, and consolidating in the pharma industry that most employees are spending their time polishing off their resumes, updating their LinkedIn profiles, surfing for jobs, and keeping their heads down lest they be the next ones let go when their company is acquired, downsized, and relocated. How can I possibly focus on the task of innovation when I have absolutely not one shred of job security irrespective of how well I do my job or how much risk I take or how dedicated I am to the company who employs me (for now)? I am certain that if pharma issued a moratorium on this craziness and offered their employees a sense of security, their innovation would return in spades.
 Posted Jan 26 2012 09:12AM
I, too, am frustrated with the system that does exactly as the brand manager describes - pharma firing those who are taking risks. We should be rewarding those wh take risks but this, frankly, is just not in the DNA of the commercial side of this industry. Perhaps another approach is warranted that would make clear business sense - simply put the patient at the center of all decision-making. That is how the industry started and it prospered. Perhaps the real- and safe - innovation here is to simply go back to what made the industry successful in the first place. If decisions are made based on the needs of the patient regulatory and shareholders would get the value they want as well as the patient being properly served. There are a few companies, that I know go, that either do this or are moving in this direction - Celgene and GSK come to mind. Maybe the true innovation is not really the channel, i.e. social media, web tools, etc. Maybe the real innovation is paying real attention to the needs of our end-user, the patient. No CEO would turn that model down.
 Posted Jan 26 2012 11:37AM
I don't see the point or follow the argument. I don't see how Craig Venter, who has had absolutely no influence on current clinical practice, or more memorable advertising 'creative' in any way support your suggestion that pharma is "scared to death of innovation". This strikes me as a very strange attempt to suggest that in some way, spending more on ad agencies and Internet brand promotion would translate to better scientific innovation. Strange. Very strange.
 Posted Mar 06 2012 12:56PM
Innovation: Why Is Pharma Scared To Death? Real simple: “Their Goose which has Laid the Golden Eggs for over 30 years is about to be plucked and put in the oven!” Yes, the pharmaceutical industry has been one of the gemstones of American and European innovation via a plethora of disease altering medications. Now, with +90% of all US Rxs going to generic’s and the “high value” biologic’s, which account for a lion’s share of dollar value, have/about to lose patent with bio-similar’s on the way, there simply is no “low hanging fruit” left! So pharma goes after “orphan” indications with hopes of six figure costs for what amounts to palliative therapy OR they seek to “justify” enormous therapy costs by enhancing response rates through identifying and treating only responders via genetic biomarkers; i.e. companion diagnostics/personalized medicine… all while US Healthcare costs are 1 ½ X larger per GDP expenditure than the OECD and 2X in actual PPP costs……just as the 80 million baby boomers “arrive in queue” for Medicare!!! The average price of US branded Rxs are 200% what they are in the OECD, and “multiples” in certain categories. The day’s of “price increases based on required quarterly EPS”…is OVER! Proprietary Big Pharma will consolidate to 4-6 companies in the US and will serve one function, late-stage clinical development and commercialization, and their “profits” will be “regulated” based upon price controls via formulary inclusion/exclusion.
 
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