Change Management

For virtually everyone, change is an uncomfortable endeavor.  For institutions with long standing traditions and successful track records, the question is “why change?”.  The reason is that change is happening all around us - it is really the only constant!  The changes that have occurred in the pharmaceutical landscape are significant and have far reaching effects as the public demands more from public health initiatives with higher patient safety with fewer side effects and greater availability - all at a lower cost.  The domino effect of the changes to the pharmaceutical industry is greater pressure on Universities to provide basic drug discovery research - once the domain of the pharma companies.  Along with increased cost pressure in the form of expected return on research investment, a new entrepreneurial culture has enveloped the public research base.

Change has indeed found us - but it is backed by incentive.

The need for close and effective connections between science and business has never been more acute than today.  In this environment, more basic and developed research is being placed into universities and other Contract Research Organizations (CROs).  This is a trend that will become stronger with time, and those research institutions that can discover new therapies and also develop candidates into field-usable form (perhaps via developing new delivery technologies) will get and stay at the forefront of bio-medical research.  The Pivotal Point Group will assemble the needed teams to couple academic research discoveries with the capabilities of the pharmaceutical industry - in a whole new way.  This new approach will enable the rapid transfer of new therapies from lab to field use, while helping to maximize the returns of most interest to all parties.  Among other considerations (good public image, individual and institutional recognition, etc.), the financial rewards can be quite significant:

University

Drug/Therapy

2005 Sales

2005 Royalty or Patent Income

Emory

Emtriva (HIV)

$36M

$525M

Columbia

Xalatan (glaucoma)

$1,010M

$20M

UC San Francisco

Hepatitis B Vaccine

n/a

$16.4M

Northwestern

Lyrica (nerve pain)

$140M

$8-10M

Clearly there is significant incentive for Universities to participate.  Also, there is a significant variance in the patent income vs. sales figures – there is no common ratio.  Emory University chose to take a one-time payment; Columbia chose to receive annual payments.  In other cases, institutional income depends on the extent of industry partnership in final drug delivery formulation and production.  Consistency in the development of the research and development process through strong compliance programs and best business practices can maximize income for grantees.

For Academic and other research organizations to achieve their mission to introduce needed medicines to the market, a means must be found to support the efforts now being abandoned by the large pharmaceutical companies.  That means incentives and assistance in discovery, testing for qualification, and production – the latter two are what we will uniquely provide.  Without success in all steps, needed therapies will remain on the bench.  Our team can help research institutions and their funded researchers deliver on the promise of new drugs that are effective in the field.  The decades of experience represented by the collection of pharmaceutical-industry professionals which we have assembled in The Pivotal Point Group enable us to help insure fulfillment of that mission.  We believe that through The Pivotal Point Group’s focused, task-oriented approach we can produce far better results more quickly and efficiently than could any other entity which might propose isolated pockets of support on the business side only. 

To achieve this goal, a long standing research institution must effect change.  There are two sides of this change - a cultural change and an operational change.  The cultural change is by far the most difficult as it entails managing the human side - this is where a Public Relations (PR) plan must be put in place.  Most major Universities have access to PR people either on staff or available as consultants.  However, this change comes in a complex fashion - first the internal concerns must be addressed such as individuals fear losing “turf” in the change or a department is feeling like they have been left standing on the platform as the train pulls away.  External PR has more to do with how to communicate both good and bad news to the public.  Universities excel at communicating to the public the good they do, but what do you say if something goes wrong in a clinical trial?  Who conveys the news and what is said to the press?  As mentioned previously, this was once the domain of large pharmaceutical companies. 

Operational change will come as a result of the financial incentives - but it doesn’t have to be expensive or onerous - however, it does need to be planned.  The Pivotal Point Group can lead this type of change through assessment and training.  To review how a pharmaceutical company would manage change on an operational basis, click here.

Copyright 2013 The Pivotal Point Group, LLC