Fixing Big Pharma Research: Introduction

Lots of articles and blog posts get written about the research productivity crisis in the pharmaceutical industry.  A lot of Wall Street types argue that Pharma companies simply must spend less on R&D (Recently, yet another analyst called for a pharma company to just cut their R&D spending). That’s the equivalent of giving investment advice to a client by saying “make sure you buy low and sell high”.

So what should companies actually DO to either lower their R&D expenses or increase their productivity? Unfortunately, the problem is far more complex and multivariate than even the most comprehensive proposed solution (see, for example, Bruce Booth’s recent post on the subject). In fact, a lot of small (and not so small) problems have combined to create the overall suboptimal system that the industry is trying to change.

In this series of posts, I’ll describe the many (often interlocking) issues as I see them.  There’s no single magic bullet that will fix everything, but a lot of little fixes might add up to some significant improvement. I’ll do my part to build awareness using this blog.

(Note that many of these problems are not unique to Pharma; large and small organizations of various kinds can experience the same issues.)

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