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Brown discusses the latest industry developments and trends.
What is the biggest industry challenge you're now facing?
The biggest challenge facing the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries is to become more efficient. In essence, the industry needs to do more with less. This is fairly obvious, given the financial pressures that are being faced by Big Pharma as major products come off patent and the difficulty that biotechnology companies have in securing funding. Our business is entirely focused on providing pharmaceutical development and manufacturing services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology community, and our challenge is to provide solutions that make our clients' overall operations more efficient.
How do you stay abreast of new developments in the industry?
It is easy to become blinkered and focused on your own backyard. It is really important to keep in touch with what is going on in the world around you, both in your clients' and competitors' organizations. Having worked for most of my life in pharmaceutical development, I really enjoy networking and keeping in touch with old work colleagues at Sterling Winthrop (Pittsburgh, PA), sanofi aventis (Paris), Chiroscience (Cambridge, England), Celltech (Slough, England), and UCB (Brussels). I also think it is very important to be an active member of professional organizations such as the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.
Do you see a new industry trend emerging?
I see an increasing trend for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to set up strategic relationships with service organizations. There will be a move away from a client–provider relationship to more of a partnership where the contract service provider will operate as an extension of the pharmaceutical or biotechnology company. I see this as a great opportunity for the industry and am sure that the new ways of working that will be required will result in greater speed and efficiency in global pharmaceutical development.