Background and Project Approach

In 2004, PharmaFutures 1 brought together fifteen informed private sector stakeholders (pension funds, sell and buy-side analysts, pharmaceutical executives from ethical/branded and generic firms) to review how the sector might develop over the next ten to 15 years. Their deliberations over a 12 month period were enriched by interviews with thirty external experts and a website discussion forum.

The group discussed a range of issues relevant to a successful, long-term pharmaceutical industry including innovation, adaptive leadership, the emerging markets, access to medicines in developing countries, intellectual property protection, marketing, information and advertising, pricing, societal expectations, government health provision and demographic changes.

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The project created an opportunity for participants to do some long-term thinking about the future in a way that is not easy to do in the context of each of their “day jobs.” It also allowed them to interact in a collaborative and creative way with people who had very different sorts of expertise about the sector. All participants accepted the project’s starting premise: namely that for industry and its investors to act successfully on the challenges facing the sector, some adaptation of the sector’s business model will be needed.


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In the face of environmental, business and societal changes, pharmaceutical companies must adapt their business models to new markets with commercial potential – even if it conflicts with decades of practice – or risk getting left behind.

Stewart Adkins, Stewart Adkins Advisors Limited