Innovation in Commercial Pharmaceuticals: How Far Can We Expand?

Kapoor, Anuj
Anuj Kapoor, WG’13

Guest post by Anuj Kapoor, WG’13.

As a recent graduate of Wharton’s MBA program in Healthcare Management, I wanted to explore some of the greatest challenges that the pharma industry is grappling with today. The perfect opportunity to do cutting edge research arose in the form of a project with Mack Institute Co-director George Day on “Business Model Innovations in Pharma.” Together we explored the key challenges currently facing the industry: What is the role of the pharma’s commercial organization in a post-healthcare-reform world, and how far “beyond the pill” can pharma realistically expand?

We started with better understanding the current pharma landscape through existing research, and we outlined the potential roles that pharma could play, from a supplier to providers on one end of the spectrum to, at the other end, a partner with aligned incentives to manage cost and quality. Next, we turned to interviewing the key stakeholders in the industry who would influence pharma’s future role – pharma executives, hospital executives, payors, pharmacy executives, and industry experts and consultants – to vet our hypotheses, learn from their experiences, and get their perspective on new pharma business models.

Throughout this process, I was amazed by the willingness of our interviewees and the Wharton network to give their time to this project and to have candid conversations about the future of the industry. They provided invaluable feedback and helped guide our learnings throughout the project. We are in the process of sharing our preliminary findings with a group of advisors now and hope to publish them soon after.

This project gave me a chance to work closely with one of the most burning issues in the healthcare industry and learn from experts. Professor Day, having just written on the subject of business model innovation, was incredibly gracious with his time and expertise, working with me to frame the key issues, providing relevant contacts from his personal network, and helping distill key findings. We are both looking forward to sharing our findings from this project early next year.

Kapoor and Day shared their findings at the recent Mack Institute workshop, “How Far Beyond the Pill?: Innovating the Pharmaceutical Commercial Model.”

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