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Latest From Melanie Senior
Drug pricing and access issues expose the pharmaceutical sector especially acutely to calls for companies to meet ethical and social goals, alongside commercial ones. Digital is up-ending pharma’s processes, its workplaces and its consumers. R&D productivity is spluttering. Amid this turmoil, CEOs highlight company culture – the way an organization behaves – as a crucial ingredient for success. But what is a “right” culture? Organizational culture is neither static nor singular. It is continuously influenced by acquisitions, markets, new technologies and new generations. And pharma’s history suggests that culture change cannot happen without sufficient people change.
ICER’s influence on drug pricing, and policy, is growing. Spotlighting the worst drug price rises is one recent example.
Acquisitions and licensing are core to pharma and big biotech growth as pipelines thin and assets lose patent protection. Looking back at significantly sized acquisitions over just five years reveals that half of 2014’s acquisitions can already be judged as outright failures or, at best, questionable. But some lessons can be learned from dud deals.
Scientists now understand that there are multiple, bi-directional links between gut and brain. They are using this knowledge to develop new treatments for some of the most challenging chronic conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and obesity.
There is no single path toward becoming a CEO. The job requires many different skills, often concurrently: sharp analytical capabilities, strategic thinking, clear communication with multiple audiences, curiosity and perseverance. It demands strong leadership but also humility, and a willingness to acknowledge mistakes and knowledge gaps.
Founder-CEOs do not typically remain at the helm as biotechs mature. Exceptions to that rule are multiplying, though, especially in Europe as companies aim directly for Nasdaq.