Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Where Is Pharma On the Innovation Curve?

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When executed effectively, the return on innovation can be enormous.  That explains why in a recent study conducted by PwC, 86% of C-level executives in the pharmaceutical industry indicated innovation is important to what they’re trying to accomplish.  It appears that the pharma industry may be putting more of an emphasis on innovation as 58% of indicated it’s a “competitive necessity” to their business compared to only 43% of overall respondents. 

Where is that innovation being focused?  The short answer is product development.  Of the respondents, 45% named product as their top priority for innovation over the next twelve months.  This compared to only 29% of all C-level executives.  Despite calls from many for pharma to “go beyond the pill”, only 10% listed services as a priority compared to 18% across all industries.

Source: PwC, Managing Innovation in Pharma

In situations where companies fall short of achieving this innovation, many are ready to blame a shortage in talent.  Respondents cited failure to find and keep top talent as their top challenge with 59% indicating it’s an issue.  “Taking innovative ideas to market quickly and in a scalable way” was next on the list with 53% acknowledging they’ve had difficulty in that area.

Source: PwC, Managing Innovation in Pharma

So where is pharma on the innovation curve?  That probably depends on who you ask.  A recent study from Booz & Co. listing the most innovative companies failed to list a single pharmaceutical in the top ten despite being some of the highest spenders on R&D.  This group of executives, however, is more confident in that innovation.  When asked about successfully implementing an innovation strategy, 71% felt they had successfully done so compared to 64% across all industries.

Where do you think pharma falls on this curve? 

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This post was contributed by @MikeMadarasz

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