1. Inertia – there are many numerous new technologies available on the market that could really help solve industry problems but most are being brought forth by small, innovative companies that need to survive in order to move the dial. Many larger drug companies are taking a passive approach and expecting vendors to solve their internal issues with very broad, customized solutions that will require M&A activity. I worry that by waiting for these small players to consolidate into larger-scale providers, the industry to lose some of the innovation edge and nimble service benefits that small organizations can deliver today.
2. Conservatism – similarly, as much as we like to think of the pharmaceutical industry as being “high-tech”, we really haven’t changed that much in the past 40 years or even 20 years. In fact, much of the advances in communication have created more busywork and distractions. Each of us industry professionals need to look within at how our own daily behaviors and working practices could be improved to drive greater productivity and impact. We believe without a return of focus to analysis, strategy, action, performance and change, drug development will continue to elongate which drives up cost and risk. We owe it to patients to innovate and evolve.
3. Balance of Power – in my prior role at a Top CRO, I experienced the integration of commercial services into clinical solution strategies. This was a mega eye opener for me to start to appreciate this completely other world, and I will never forget the words of our CEO who led the assembly of this model back in 2011. He talked about the future being one in which drug companies are paid not for supplying drugs, but for achieving Health Outcomes. This, along with the introduction of greater efforts to hear the voice of the patient and the growth of formal patient advocacy groups, will finally start to change the dynamic towards one where the real customers of our industry achieve a greater balance of power. I believe this connection to the communities we serve and the accomplishments we deliver is essential for our industry to remain relevant and thrive.