Q&A with Peter Soelkner, managing director of Vetter Pharma International

Aug 10, 2009
By PharmTech Editors



PharmTech:
How do you stay abreast of new developments in the industry?

Soelkner:
To understand the newest challenges and developments in the pharmaceutical industry, it is critical that we walk in our clients' shoes. We must recognize their needs and understand what ultimate success means for them.

Working with 18 to 20 of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world gives us a bird's eye view of industry challenges. We can use this opportunity to identify and respond to industry changes as they happen and work to stay a step ahead.

By working directly with our clients to draft blueprints for individual projects, we are able not only to share information about industry events, but to create product life-cycle management tools to address industry developments. By providing advanced customer service and understanding our clients' needs, we are able to obtain critical information that allows us to respond to the ever-changing pharmaceutical landscape.

PharmTech:
Do you see a new industry trend emerging?

Soelkner:
One of the emerging trends in the industry, especially among the larger companies, is the investment in proactive early product life-cycle management strategies throughout a product's entire life. Rather than try to maintain their drugs on the market, many companies have relied on their ability to keep the pipeline filled with new products. But with the number of new drugs declining, development costs rising, and the patents on some of the biggest drugs on the market set to expire in the next few years, companies are looking at life-cycle management approaches to maximize the profitability throughout a product's lifespan. Getting a drug on the market is no longer enough. Keeping it there and managing its success is just as crucial.

Developing new markets and new applications for existing products, completing product reformulation, and extending the product life cycle are necessities in the marketplace. Product life-cycle management is playing an important role much earlier in the development process than before. Companies prepared with a vigorous product life-cycle management concept and schedule will be better positioned to succeed in this difficult economic environment.

Peter Soelkner will be giving the opening address at Vetter’s 2nd Drug Management Leadership Conference to be held on September 23 and 24 in Lindau on Lake Constance, Germany.