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A variety of consultant options are available to the pharma industry; this article is a 3-step guide to selecting the right consultant.
The pharmaceutical industry is one that relies heavily on consulting support across the product journey. From new drug application (NDA) to loss of exclusivity (LOE), commercialization consulting options are abundant, but sometimes finding the right consultant can be a challenge.
One of the benefits of decades of experience is knowing what good-and bad-looks like and learning how to align your needs and expectations with the expertise, experience, and capabilities of the right consultant for your project.
Having been on both sides of the consulting relationship-as the client and as the consultant-we’ve learned a few things about how to select a consulting partner that is the right fit, right now.
1. Look in the mirror. Deeply.
Finding the best consultant for your unique needs starts with you. It’s important to clearly define your goals and identify the strengths and weaknesses in your team, capabilities, and capacity to know where consulting help is most needed and exactly what type of consulting support you need.
Ask these questions internally before you begin to engage with prospective consulting groups:
2. Put the consultants under the microscope.
Once your introspective work is done, you should have a much better idea of what kind of consulting help you need. When evaluating potential consultants you’ll want to keep this in mind, but be sure to look just as deeply at how they approach their client engagements to ensure a great fit.
Based on how you answered the above, ask potential consulting partners the appropriate version of these questions:
3. Before making your decision, consider these general guidelines.
A large consulting practice with a global footprint and diverse service offering may be the best fit for you if:
A smaller, specialized, boutique consulting group may be the best fit for you if:
Selecting the right consultant can have an enormous impact on the success of your project. As the importance of your project rises, so should the level of attention paid to selecting the best partner. Taking time to follow these three steps will help you to have confidence in your consultant and ensure the success of your project.
Keith Bailey, Director, US New Products at Novartis
Douglas Bock, Partner at Archbow Consulting.