I check something like 200 RSS feeds a day from various publications and blogs. In the past several weeks there have been a lot of articles on changing pharma markets, new R&D directions, patent cliffs, paradigm shifts (not really in most cases), and evolving business models to meet industry changes. I've probably written 10 posts since March on changes in R&D.
Let's face it. The industry is reaching a level of maturity where it is normal, in order to maintain the industry's health, for there to be a shake out period. We can expect pharma and biotech to merge. We can expect more merger and acquisition activity. We can expect some smaller players to fail. We can expect blurring of the lines between suppliers of generics, branded drugs, new biologics, and biosimilars - some of the larger firms will likely end up in ALL these markets. And, we'll see firms spread out all over the globe as all these pharmerging markets become attractive with their middle classes and more money to spend.
As I say, I think this is normal and there been a fair amount written about this. Therefore, I'm a bit surprised to say I thought the report below from the PharmaGossip blog as reported out of Pharma Times was a bit depressing.
I think I read this same study last week and did not get this same reaction. It seems like there is a lot of negativity in this report about the patent cliff and pharma's inability (82%) to innovate to make up for it. Can you get 82% of people to agree on anything? Why this?
There's also a lot of hat hanging on "patent life extensions" (97% - must have all gone to same CEO school)and using the patent system as a competitive weapon. Patents are part of your IP portfolio and to me it is fine to use as part of your competitive strategy - but don't making blocking patents your whole strategy! I got that flavor form this piece. Let's delay as long as we can - until we can buy somebody (70%) to distract the investors and analysts attention.
I found it mildly distrubing that the US patent system was held up in higher repute than the EU's as the US system was going to serve as a better competitive barrier.
No where in this piece do I see anything about developing new business practices, new ways of doing R&D, finding new molecules or indications, even extending to new indications with existing molecules - whatever happened to competing and winning in the market place? Rather, we seem centered on patent life extensions through modest innovation, blocking generics/biosimilars through effective patent administration and buying your neighbor.
Thus I became boggy & sad.
Posted by Bruce Lehr May 18th 2010.