A: I AM IMPRESSED BY BRISTOL-MEYERS SQUIBB (BMS) AND J&J. Ten years ago you wouldn’t have given BMS much of a chance after the channel-stuffing scandal. But today BMS finds itself as a very successful specialty biopharma company. And while they’re not trying to compete with the big boys and are just focusing on coming up with good science, they remain big. As for J&J, Paul Stoffels was quite frustrated about the state of affairs in pharma and J&J. But to his credit, he did something to change it, and J&J is now producing a lot more sustainable innovation. The rest of Big Pharma rely on very large portfolios of branded generics. Because these products require a lot of marketing muscle and resources to keep them afloat, not only does it result in their taking their eyes off innovation resulting in mediocre performance, but it also messes up the culture.
Bernard is the founder of the InnoThink Center for Research in Biomedical Innovation. Previously, he served as advisor in corporate strategy at Eli Lilly focused on disruptive innovation and the radical redesign of the R&D model.