Life Science Leader Blogs

  1. Are You Ready For HBA WOTY 2016?

    On Thursday, May 12, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) will host its 27th annual Woman of the Year (WOTY) at the Hilton New York Midtown. The celebration draws over 2,000 women and men from throughout the healthcare industry and showcases the HBA’s core purpose of furthering the advancement and impact of women in the business of healthcare. For those who have never attended, the ceremony involves much more than the presentation of just the WOTY award; the honorable mentor of the year and the strategic transformation achievement recognition (STAR) award are announced, and there is a presentation of a group of some 100 Rising Stars and Luminaries.

  2. An Absent Life Science Blogger’s Backstory

    Alas, I am a specialized ignoramus, or dilettante; aka, a journalist. To ask even the most basic questions about the series topic — generally, new therapeutic approaches to neurodegenerative diseases — I first put myself through a veritable college course on the subject, reading and rereading through a tall (cyber) pile of related scientific, medical, and commercial literature. And yet, it is not the unseen labor I regret, but the unseen results.

  3. Your BIO Convention 2016 Planning Guide

    Having begun my preparations for the upcoming BIO 2016 International Convention, June 6 – 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, I thought I would share some insights to help with your planning. First, in case you weren’t aware, the Moscone Center consists of three separate buildings: Moscone Center West, North, and South (see map here). While this might not seem like a big deal, if you plan on attending some of the educational sessions, a little preplanning could prevent you from missing something important (e.g., the Monday June 6, Welcome Reception at the Exploratorium at Pier 15).

  4. Tackling Rising Healthcare Costs Requires Less Talk And More Action

    Last October when we asked industry thought leaders, “What would be hot for 2016” (see our December 2015 issue), drug pricing was one topic consistently mentioned. Probably not much of a surprise considering the mass media’s fascination with portraying former Turing CEO Martin Shkreli as being everything that’s bad with biopharma. But the reality is that controversy over drug pricing has been around for as long as there have been drugs. So too have been proposed solutions, such as the current ones seeking product-specific transparency regarding R&D and manufacturing costs as well as pricing. What has been lacking, however, is a concerted effort to bring key stakeholders together to discuss broader, systemwide solutions to address rising U.S. healthcare costs.

  5. Are You Ready To Go Beyond The Cutting Edge At BIO 2016?

    Being the 2015 educational planning committee co-chair for BIO provided behind the scenes insights into what makes for a good industry session proposal at BIO. But beyond that I also learned how important it is for those interested in putting together an educational session for a conference to begin the planning process early. So when Bayer’s VP and Head of the company’s east coast innovation center, Chandra Ramanathan, Ph.D., and I sat down at last year’s annual BIO conference to discuss what type of educational session might be needed for BIO 2016, we did so armed with a wealth of wisdom.

  6. What Does The Successful Killing Of The Pfizer Allergan Deal Mean?

    When I wrote the opinion piece on the U.S. government’s successful killing of the planned Pfizer Allergan merger, it was on the heels of a March Editor’s Note on the current state of U.S. corporate taxes. There are those who argue that U.S. companies aren’t seeking to invert due to high U.S. tax rates. And while we can dispute the rationale behind why companies have been seeking to relocate outside the United States, what can’t be debated is that prior to the recent move by the U.S. Department of Treasury to block the practice, inversions were on the rise. Since 1982, 51 U.S. companies have reincorporated in low-tax countries. But more telling is that of these, 20 (inversions) happened in just the past three years, despite 2004 legislation intended to abolish the practice.

  7. Evolving The Biopharma R&D Model — Improbable Players Are Changing The Game

    At a recent conference* I overheard an executive comment that the clinical trial space remains one of the biggest bottlenecks to successful drug development. Sure, companies are developing much more sophisticated and targeted therapies. However, one of the problems this more individualized drug development creates is a slowdown in clinical trial recruitment. While new technologies are creating an enormous amount of clinical evidence, for the most part this data is being divided into two silos. On one hand we have data that is general knowledge for future cases. On the other hand, clinical care is not only creating evidence for an individual patient, but also promoting well-being. How do we bring these two silos together in an industry rapidly shifting from a pay per vial/pill model to a value-based or algorithm-driven approach? How can we actually innovate in the clinical trial space? Let’s consider a few examples of how some improbable industry outsiders have been changing the biopharmaceutical drug R&D game.

  8. Is U.S. Government Tactical Switch From Too Big To Fail To Too Big To Leave Constitutional?

    In the March 2016 issue of Life Science Leader magazine, my Editor’s Note, The U.S. Tax Man Cometh, The U.S. Corporations Leaveth, referenced the Pfizer-Allergan merger as pretty much a done deal. Little did I know then that the U.S. government would stoop to implementing government policies more familiar to those living in the former U.S.S.R., than a country founded on freedom and famous for supporting free enterprise. While not losing Pfizer (an American institution older than major league baseball) to Ireland can be considered a win for the good ‘ole US of A, I lament that the ends don’t justify the means. It seems the U.S. government has begun shifting its focus from “too big to fail,” to “too big to leave.” I for one wonder what will be the eventual outcome of such government activities in a free market society. Well for starters, Ireland-based Allergan will receive $150 million from Pfizer after the companies terminated their anticipated $150+ billion merger. A leading expert from Frost & Sullivan’s Transformational Health practice, Sangeetha Prabakaran, had this to say about the death of the recent deal.

  9. Are You Committed To Being A Better Leader?

    I recently cracked open Leadership Vertigo, a book by S. Max Brown and Tanveer Naseer. I was immediately enthralled when the authors hit me with this tidbit. “Gallup research has found that the top 25 percent of teams (i.e., the best managed) versus the bottom 25 percent in any workplace (i.e., the worst managed), have nearly 50 percent fewer accidents and 41 percent fewer quality defects.”

  10. The Best Pharma Manufacturing Conference You’ve Never Heard Of

    Thanks to Outsourced Pharma chief editor Louis Garguilo taking the lead on serving as host of Life Science Leader magazine’s annual CMO Leadership Awards celebration and reception in New York City, my time was suddenly freed up to explore for new educational opportunities. And while I will admit to being biased as to the quality of educational opportunities offered by our own Outsourced Pharma conferences, I recently got back from an event best described as one of the best pharmaceutical manufacturing educational conferences you have probably never heard of. Now truth be told, I had been invited to PharmaLink (an event produced by Xavier University and the FDA) in the past. Further, I have had a number of executives (e.g., David Lowndes, SVP supply chain and quality at Shire) not only tell me about the value of the conference but even suggest that I attend. However, it wasn’t until this year that I was successful in working it in to my schedule, but I am glad I did, and here’s why.