Focus Magazine - Summer 2014 - (Page 50)
5 Questions With...
ife sciences is a rapidly evolving field.
With so much changing so quickly, how
can we be ready for tomorrow's
I recently spoke with Nigel Brooksby,
chairman of the United Kingdom Life Sciences
Board and a former senior leader with
companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer
and Sanofi, about where we go from here.
chairman of the
Life Sciences Board
Tim Sosbe (TS): You've talked about 20002010 as the "decade of doubt" for life
sciences companies. What's that mean and
where does that leave us now?
Nigel Brooksby (NB): The "Decade of Doubt"
from 2000 to 2010 destroyed more than
$550 billion of value from the combined
share prices of pharma companies. So
what happened? To start, there was a 60
percent increase in R&D spend, from 10
percent to 16 percent of sales. In spite of
this uplift, there was no increase in
productivity. In fact, the economic return
dropped from 13-15 percent in the 1990s
to 4-9 percent in this "Decade of Doubt."
TS: So a transformation is needed. How are
life sciences companies responding?
NB: Life sciences companies responded with
various strategies to transform their
business models and their global
organizations. Analysts and shareholders
combined to put significant pressure on
CEOs and boards. Heads rolled and since
2010 global headcount has been
significantly reduced. R&D spend has
been cut back and redirected to greater
collaboration with biotechnology. In
parallel, the industry has had to respond
to pricing pressures as well as a shift
toward emerging markets.
TS: Loss of trust seems particularly important
to life sciences. Can trust be regained?
NB: There is a global perception that life
sciences puts commercial interests above
those of governments, payers, healthcare
professionals and patients. This loss of
trust has been felt in Europe and in China.
Rebuilding trust will take sustained
efforts, increased transparency and even
higher levels of governance.
TS: How can we contribute?
NB: The industry and individual companies
will need to constantly "trim their sails" to
the ever-changing environment with new
challenges and new competitors. It will
involve five essential ingredients:
1) A reassessment of product portfolios
2) Continuous reappraisal of the
3) Acquiring talent from other sectors
4) Continued focus on R&D returns
5) A "root and branch" revision of
All stakeholders will need to work
together more closely to achieve one aim:
Better patient outcomes at lower costs.
TS: What will life sciences look like in 2020?
NB: It will certainly look different. The winners
will be those companies that deliver value
at lower costs. There will be increased
outsourcing of all functions. The focus on
emerging markets will continue and there
will be a rapid rise in collaboration with
academia and biotechnology. R&D
productivity will have to continuously
improve and risk will need to be better
governed and managed. I
Tim Sosbe is editor of Focus magazine and editorial director for LTEN. Email Tim at tsosbe@L-TEN.org.
FOCUS | SUMMER 2014 | www.L-TEN.org
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Focus Magazine - Summer 2014
From the President: Clarity, Community & Career
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Your Network and the Connection Ecomony
Front of the Room: Getting Your Head Right
Introducing LTEN: The Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network
Communities of Practice: Learning in Action
Are We Living in a Post-LMS World?
Member Solutions: Measuring the Impact of Training
Selling as a Team Sport
From the Training Room to the Board Room
The Science of Changing Sales Behavior
Personalized Medicine: The Coming Revolution
Virtual How: Trends in Selling Models
5 Questions with Nigel Brooksby
Focus Magazine - Summer 2014