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Pharmaceutical R&D Productivity: Be Careful What You Wish For

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dennis LendremORCiD


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No one metric is likely to capture an activity as complex, or as uncertain, as R&D. In fact, the pursuit of any one metric to the exclusion of all others is likely to sub-optimize the entire research and development process. This paper outlines the devastating impact that the single minded pursuit of cycle time reduction had on the pharmaceutical industry. Maximising development speed through cycle time reduction clogged the development pipeline with marginal or failing medicines, increased late-stage attrition, increased R&D costs, and paradoxically reduced R&D productivity. The industry became really slick at delivering late-stage failures to the market place.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lendrem DW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Chemistry World

Year: 2015

Volume: 12

Issue: 4

Pages: 40

Print publication date: 25/03/2015

Online publication date: 25/03/2015

Acceptance date: 25/03/2015

ISSN (print): 1473-7604

ISSN (electronic): 1749-5318

Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry