Q&A with Greg Irace,sanofi-aventis

Greg Irace, president of sanofi-aventis, on recent industry trends.
May 01, 2011
By PharmTech Editors

Q&A with
Greg Irace, president of sanofi-aventis


Greg Irace
PharmTech:
What is the biggest industry challenge you're now facing?

Irace:
I'd say the biggest challenge we're all facing is change. From the end of the blockbuster era, to the impact of healthcare reform, to a challenging regulatory environment and the changing dynamics between patients, payors, and providers, the entire context in which we operate is changing.

Globally, sanofi-aventis has taken many steps to stay ahead of the curve and address these challenges. First, we are diversifying our business. We now consider ourselves not just a pharmaceutical company, but a diversified healthcare company. In addition to our pharmaceutical and vaccine businesses, we have built a significant presence in consumer health, animal health, and emerging markets. We are also being more strategic about how we allocate resources; we're now concentrating on high-growth areas, including diabetes, oncology, and atrial fibrillation. Ultimately, we work with our partners to protect health and enhance life. I believe these moves will set us up for long-term sustainable growth.

PharmTech:
Do you see a new industry trend emerging?

Irace:
We are excited about the trend of using a decentralized approach. Companies are forming disease-based units with their own experts dedicated to research and development, regulatory affairs, marketing, and sales. The goal of this approach is to bring the best and brightest minds and methods to bear early on in the development process of a potential treatment and to leverage those resources throughout the product's life cycle.

Recognizing patients' evolving needs and the challenging environment in which we are operating, sanofi-aventis US has adopted a decentralized model. We hope this approach will result in greater efficiencies—improving the likelihood of success by focusing efforts on fewer projects with greater potential—and improved innovation, ultimately benefiting patients.

We're also energized by developments in the medical-device arena that have the potential to change the way patients manage their conditions. sanofi-aventis US offers various devices to simplify insulin use for patients.