Dr Kevin Lustig talks about Strategic Outsourcing and bringing pharma and drug discovery into the information age in a recent publication in Chemistry Today.
The centralized model of pharmaceutical development that was used successfully through most of the last century is no longer a good fit. Advances in modern molecular research have changed the playing field to such an extent that the old model is no longer viable. If drug companies can solve the problems of pre-clinical development and deliver a steady stream of new, high-quality compounds to the clinic, then the challenges currently facing pharma will become a thing of the past.
Kevin highlights that the single most likely route to success is through the application of strategic outsourcing, which if done correctly, can dramatically reduce research costs while simultaneously improving research quality. Utilizing new online tools such as research exchanges, a “lean” pharmaceutical company can find, outsource and manage a large number of specialist scientific service providers and experts that can bring exactly the right skill set to bear at the right time in the project cycle.
Few would argue that the Pharmaceutical Industry has been languishing in the doldrums now for well over a decade. Pharmaceutical companies are having to face three major issues involving drug approvals, development costs and patents expiration. Any of these alone would prove a tough nut to crack, but the fact that they are all converging at the same time is creating a perfect storm!
[pullquote]As Corey Goodman, a former Pfizer executive and the founder of Exelixis, put it: “We don’t just need a Band-Aid, we need transformational change.”[/pullquote]In light of all this, it is not surprising that stocks of some of the industry’s biggest players – including Pfizer and Merck – are down 40 per cent from a decade ago, and that the industry as a whole has cut 200,000 jobs in the last five years alone. It is clear that the current model of drug discovery is not sufficient to dig the industry out of this hole and that strategic outsourcing might just be the key.