Emerging Pharma Leaders: Michael Injaychock, Eli Lilly & Co.

August 21, 2014
William Looney

Pharmaceutical Executive

Michael Injaychock joined Eli Lilly in 2007 after five years in a Washington-based financial services consulting role and a subsequent MBA from the University of North Carolina.

Michael Injaychock joined Eli Lilly in 2007 after five years in a Washington-based financial services consulting role and a subsequent MBA from the University of North Carolina. Course work there as well as a stiff self-evaluation of his former job led Injaychock to conclude his future lay in a post that carried a larger purpose. “I captured my ideal position in three words: marketing that matters.”

That desire was reinforced by an early personal experience in the power of modern medicine. “Just after I finished my undergraduate course at the College of William and Mary, my grandfather suffered a severe stroke. The right drug administered at the right time saved his life. My grandfather lived another ten quality years, long enough for me to name my daughter after my grandmother. That real-life testimonial about the value of medicines is better than any marketing message, which is what attracted me to a career in pharmaceuticals.”

Michael Injaychock

Injaychock interviewed with a number of drugmakers but chose Lilly due to the company’s emphasis on the long-term opportunities for leadership. “I liked that my discussions with Lilly focused on personal and professional growth, not just the job.” He quickly advanced to a brand leader role in the diabetes franchise at HQ in Indianapolis, where he helped rejuvenate the aging genetically engineered insulin product, Humulin. While few saw opportunities in the business, he set out to re-launch the franchise, using a tailored pricing strategy and reserving his limited marketing investments around targeted niche segments to improve share of voice in areas where the product still made a difference for endocrinologists and patients.

His work caught the eye of Lilly’s chief marketing officer, who was looking for a candidate to more deeply understand relationships with customers in Japan, the company’s second largest market outside the US, through modern, insights-based market research. Among other things, Lilly had an active portfolio of relatively new products in Japan but little was known about how the changing role of the traditionally all-important physician was affecting the product life cycle-were Lilly’s messages about its medicines actually getting through? Could new technology platforms make a difference as the local customer base evolved? A stronger hand on the market research function would go far in helping affiliate management answer these basic questions.

For the rest of this article and more on this year’s Emering Pharma Leaders, click here.

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