The May issue of Life Science Leader features an exclusive interview with long-time Alkermes CEO Richard Pops. During our interview, Pops noted that he isn’t the type of person to wallow in the past, but rather, he prefers to exert most of his energy toward looking forward.
But he admits that kind of thinking does have its downside. “Once we notch a victory, it’s in the past, and we are on to what’s next,” he explains. Certain successes in the company, for Pops at least, merely raise the company’s responsibility to do even more. Gaining an approval for a drug to treat schizophrenia creates a whole new obligation of figuring out how to get it to a certain cohort of patients, and then how to get it to even more patients in need. “Then, how do we develop a better next generation of the drug?” the CEO says. “That’s the relentless aspect of building one of these companies — it never ends.” However, Pops says he is getting better at slowing down and acknowledging the important work being done by Alkermes’ employees. He even uses our interview as an example of his changing mindset toward appreciating the present more. “Left to my own devices, I probably wouldn’t do such an interview, mistakenly thinking we haven’t done anything yet to warrant such an article and that it would be better to wait for that important accomplishment that is always around the next corner.”