The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over, but expecting different results
By Calum Graham
Despite the clear evolutionary processes observed in the R&D functions of big Pharma over the last decade, that have been implemented primarily to increase productivity, efficiency and diversity of portfolio, there is little evidence to suggest that joined up thinking has been applied throughout the industry to ensure that what is being developed is what the market/customer truly needs/wants.
Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. It really doesn’t matter that there’s absolutely no evidence that Einstein actually made this statement; it’s still a great quote! Likewise, it really doesn’t matter that whoever did coin this insightful genius didn’t derive their inspiration from a description of Pharma Marketing strategy and tactics; but they certainly could have done!
The Pharma industry is not just a numbers game… and increased productivity at the front-end of development counts for nothing unless what comes out of the bottom of the hopper has been designed to deliver value. And of course the profile (and the needs) of the customer, the new decision-maker, has changed. The prescribing physician is no longer king of the decision-makers, and a new, multi-factorial, healthy outcomes ecosystem has emerged as the new master. The complexity of this ecosystem provides multiple opportunities for Pharma companies to explore and define new parameters where their products get to win - whether they be meeting unmet medical needs, expanding access in underserved/emerging markets or delivering improved patient outcomes.
For those Pharma companies that have the courage to challenge conventional commercial thinking, the foresight to more clearly define their customer base and better understand their needs, and focus all of their efforts on developing products that deliver on health outcomes, there has never been a time of greater opportunity! Pursuing a development/marketing strategy based on doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result seems… well, insane!