The "Other" Innovation

Pharmaceutical Executive

Pharmaceutical Executive, Pharmaceutical Executive-03-01-2011, Volume 0, Issue 0

Ipsen is redefining a standard for success in innovation with its local Dutch affiliate

Pharmaceutical companies are in business to break new barriers in innovative medicines. But thinning pipelines and price pressures make conventional innovation harder to come by. With numerous cost-containment reforms in the past five years many industry leaders view the Netherlands as prohibitive for new innovation. However, with a fresh set of eyes and an active agenda on patient care, French pharmaceutical company Ipsen's local Dutch affiliate is redefining a standard for success when it comes to innovation.

Dr. Adrienne M. de Waal, Country Manager, Ipsen

"We are a small organization with limited budgets so we must be creative to develop meaningful solutions," says Dr. Adrienne M. de Waal, country manager of the Netherlands. Therefore in addition to flagship lines in neurology, endocrinology, and an orphan drug treating IGF-1 deficiency—a child growth hormone—Ipsen considers its customer approach and market entrance as equally important determinants of its innovation. Developing specific home-care programs for patients in which nurses administer injections directly in patients' homes, provide treatment followup, and report feedback to the doctor, Ipsen places itself as close and supportive to the patient as possible. "Innovation from this perspective translates to being very service-oriented," says de Waal. "From a patient perspective it is very customer friendly to have dedicated home care, compared to the alternative of additional visits to a general practitioner or the hospital."

Ipsen's shift to more Web-based services is another element of the "other" innovation that it provides. "We cooperate in specific medical projects with doctors by facilitating the construction of databases that collect historical and current treatment information for a very rare and genetically inherited disease. By building this database and analyzing the information, doctors can deduct the best treatment. Future patients will benefit from this information and receive the best treatment right from the start. The setup of this database has been judged as innovation for patients; without it they are treated by 'trial and error' to receive the best options."