By Rob Wright
My time at the first R&D Leadership Summit (sponsored by The Conference Forum) last week was an eye-opening and validating experience. Let me explain. Surrounded by 40 top executives from companies such as sanofi-aventis, Merck, SuperGen, and Eli Lilly, this peer-networking meeting was packed with critical senior management issues — and most importantly — candid conversations. The latter is what was so surprising to me, considering pharma/bio execs usually are more tight-lipped regarding their opinions on hot topics such as FDA restructuring and the negative perception of the pharma industry as a whole.
At this meeting, speaker/moderator Ken Getz of the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (as well as CenterWatch and e-Cliniqua) did a stellar job of keeping the discussions going as well as limiting them to the allotted time — which became even more challenging during a spirited exchange during dinner (it lasted until 10:30 p.m.!).
The validation portion of my experience stemmed from the topics and opinions being discussed. In other words, after attending this event, I felt many of the topics in Life Science Leader’s articles thus far have been very applicable to our executive readers — whether it was the negative impact of the rise of excessive pharmacovigilance, the need for a resurgence in innovation in a post-blockbuster industry, or how biomarkers can help eliminate the need for some expensive clinical studies.
Of course there were a lot of other topics and issues discussed at this event that would make good future articles in our magazine, and Chief Editor Rob Wright and I are tracking some of those down right now. Stay tuned.