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The Key to Sustaining Research & Development The high costs of producing safe and effective drugs should drive managers in the pharmaceutical industries to think of innovative ways to reduce costs. In order to sustain research and development (R&D), every employee should be encouraged to work towards boundary-less collaboration. Research and Development collaboration is important in producing better innovations, streamlining processes, reducing expenditures, and building working relationships.

This type of collaboration culture, if ncouraged within the workplace of Big Pharma companies can help to sustain such a fickle business in the face of mergers, outsourcing, global economic recession and the even more stringent conditions of the drug approval process. The Cost of Drug Development The average cost to research and develop each successful drug is estimated to be $800 million to $1 billion. 1 This number includes the cost of the thousands Of failures: For every compounds that enter the research and development (R&D) pipeline, ultimately only one receives approval. 1. http://www. phrma. org/sites/default/files/1 59/ accessed 05Apri1201 2) The pharmaceutical industry in the United States of America (USA) is a billion dollar industry. However, unlike other billion dollar industries, the pharmaceutical industry markets products such as life saving drugs. Therefore, it is no wonder that within this industry, it takes great detail and an immense amount of time to deliver safe and effective drugs. This great attention to detail and input of time ultimately translates to a huge undertaking of resources and use of money.

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It can take up to fifteen years to develop one new medicine from the earliest stages of discovery to the time it s available for treating patients. 1 The Drug Development Process 2 1 . http://www. phrma. org/sites/default/files/159/rd_brochure_022307. pdf (Accessed 05Apri1201 2) 2. http://amethystls. com/biotechpro. shtml (accessed 14Apr2012) The pharmaceutical industry is in a big crisis, as the ratio of successful and profitable drugs produced compared to the dollars invested to produce one drug is unbalanced. This can lead to an unprofitable business, which in due time will collapse.

Many regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have also raised their standards of approval, making it a arder and longer process for a drug to be approved, meaning more time and more money needs to be invested. Also the expiration of patents for drugs that are on the market makes a huge impact on profitability for many drug companies. The Importance of Research and Development (R&D) Research and Development Produces Well Needed Drugs Although the process of drug development is extremely costly, the benefits far outweigh its cost.

As Martha Brumfield (Ph. D. , Pfizer, Inc. ) puts it “l find it very exciting to be involved with the drug in its final stages… after so any years of waiting. The patients are finally getting access to the drug that potentially is going to help them. ” 1 Since there is never a shortage of diseases or disease causing organisms, there will always be the dire need for R&D to produce drugs that combat these diseases. A myriad of patients are depending on new and improved drugs that offer them hope (sometimes their only hope) and a better quality of life.

These patients include you, me, family, friends, and people in general. 1 . http://vsmw. phrma. org/sites/default/files/159/rd_brochure_022307. pdf The implication of cutting back on vital R & D could mean that there would be no cure for some unknown disease in the future, as R & D becomes more and more extinct. Diseases such as smallpox have been totally eradicated because of the use of vaccines which took years in research and development before a product could be introduced to the market.

Many other diseases that once had far reaching and devastating impact such as tetanus and polio are on their way to being completely eradicated because of the efforts of research and development within the scientific industry. Research and Development Creates Jobs The recent economic recession has seen many smaller R & D companies shut down their facilities, as well as many mergers among R & D companies. In Feb 201 1, Pfizer closed down its research and development facility in Sandwich, UK which developed the impotence drug Viagra, resulting in the loss of 2,400 jobs. Pfizer has previously said it plans to cut 15% of the combined Pfizer-Wyeth work force, but didn’t release specific figures on how many R jobs are being cut as part of this consolidation-4 In 2009 alone, Merck (a major R & D company) also announced 15% cuts in its workforce. Johnson & Johnson (J & J), also planned to cut six to seven percent of their global workforce. 5 Eli Lilly recently said it plans to cut its workforce to 35,000 by the end of 201 1. 5 3. http://wNw. guardian. co. k/business/201 1/ feb/01 /pfizer-to-close-viagra-facility (accessed 1 3Apr201 2) 4. http:// blogs. wsj. com/hea lth/2009/1 1 /09/which-rd-sites-is-pfizer-closing/ (Accessed 13Apr2012) 5. http://blogs. wsj. com/hea Ith/2009/10/21 /eli-lilly-adds-jobs plans-cuts/ (Accessed 13Apr201 2) Research and Development Drives Innovation in the USA As more research and development endeavors are scaled back, and as ore mergers occur, research and development will slowly become extinct. This will result in the loss of innovation within the IJSA.

Pharmaceutical industries within the USA are responsible for producing drugs that then become licensed in other parts of the world, making the LISA the ‘trendsetter’ for developing and marketing drugs. Collaboration is Important in Drug Research and Development When a biochemist solves the crystal structure of a protein for a molecular biologists working on the regulation Of the protein that is collaboration within the biological sciences. Multidisciplinary research is a form of collaborative research that involves researchers working across disciplines either within an institution or in different institutions.

When the pharmaceutical industry works with a medical center to perform a clinical trial of a new drug, it is collaboration across industry and academia-6 Collaboration Produces Better Innovations There is a famous saying “great minds think alike”, but an even more accurate saying would be “great minds think differently, and combine their differences to create something even greater. ” The more educated minds oming together, the better the resulting ideas. The more skilled expertise joining forces, the better the innovations, and the stronger the organization will be. . http://ori. hhs. gov/education/products/columbia_wbt/rcr_science/ introduction/index. html (accessed 13Apr201 2) The more skills, knowledge, and information contributing to any one project will translate to a stronger, more credible program. Collaboration brings about more innovative ways to solve problems as they arise. R & D Collaboration also produces more ideas for more drugs in the pipeline. More products in he pipeline lead to a greater probability of more successful drugs in the pipeline. Collaboration Results in Streamlined Processes When there is collaboration between individuals from different departments working on similar projects, it results in a more streamlined process. For example, if one team in oncology has worked on micro-colony assays before and another team in vaccines is also doing micro-colony assays, it would be more effective for both teams to have collaborative sessions where they discuss issues such as what difficulties they experience and how they work through these difficulties.

Collaboration in research and development also leads to less duplication of efforts, which saves time and money. Collaboration Reduces Expenditure Boundary-less collaboration across teams, units, and divisions, proactively looking for opportunities to share information and ideas reduces expenditure. If differing teams collaborate throughout the company, for example you may find that one team has come up with a way to use fewer resources or even has a cheaper supplier which can be applied to another team’s processes. Also an excess in one area can be effectively used in nother area if teams collaborated. Collaboration Builds Relationships Collaboration helps form new relationships, establish new audiences, and in most cases, substantially improve the final product. Collaboration builds networks within any company, and the stronger the working relationships within a company, the stronger the company will be. Having a good dynamic with any one team is always important, but having an open means Of collaborating across teams is even more important. Collaboration the Means to Sustaining Imagine collaboration networks within Pfizer; teams in sample handling in accines collaborating with teams in sample handling in oncology.

Contingents’ running preclinical assays collaborating with those running clinical assays. Teams in information technology collaborating with those in special research programs. Collaboration within the research and development sector is key to sustaining this fragile industry. The need for sustaining R through collaboration is of utmost importance. A diseased ridden world depends on sustainable growth in the R & D sector. Boundary- less collaboration produces better results, in better time, leading to a sustainable business.

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