PharmExec Blog

Pharma's Most Productive Innovators: The Top Ten

By Stephanie Sutton, PharmTech Europe.

Consultancy firm IDEA Pharma has released what it calls a ‘Productive Innovation Index’, which ranks pharmaceutical companies based on their ability to successfully commercialize new innovations. The company has been published the index for three years and uses publicly available data to reach its conclusions.

Although the index may not be a complete picture of innovation in the industry, given that there are no doubt many other data not available to the public about the state of innovation within a company, the results are still an interesting read.

“We wanted to assess the pharmaceutical industry’s ability to add value to, and derive value from, molecules in pre-launch, so we analysed the major players based on a range of observations including speed to market, attrition rate in phase III, sales versus ostensibly similar molecules, and regulatory success,” IDEA Pharma’s CEO, Mike Rea, said in a statement.

Johnson & Johnson claimed the top spot as the pharmaceutical industry’s most innovative firm. According to IDEA Pharma, there were two main factors contributing to the company’s success. Rea said, “It successfully brought to market Abiraterone (Zytiga) — a lyase and steroid synthesis inhibitor for use in the treatment of prostate cancer — and furthermore it was a major riser in the Access to Medicine Index, which is of increasing global importance.”

The other nine companies occupying the top ten were Amgen, Roche/Genentech, Merck & Co., Sanofi, Eli Lilly, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol Myers Squibb and Abbott (ranked second to ninth respectively in the index). Do you agree with the results?

Rea added, “Innovation is not only about what you discover, it’s about what you put on the market, so a carefully-considered strategy is critical. Some companies are so eager to clear the regulatory hurdles that it creates a culture of panic leading to the wrong behaviour.”

One notable omission from the top ten is Pfizer, which was ranked eleventh. AstraZeneca also failed to make the top ten; coming in at fifteenth.

“AstraZeneca is the perfect example of a company which has shown all the signs of panic over the past five years,” said Rea. “The stress of an underwhelming pipeline has led it to make bad decisions on top of bad decisions, and although it enjoyed some top line growth by flogging its sales model, the same primary care sales model has led to poor decisions in many areas.”

You can read the full index, comprising 24 pharmaceutical companies, here.

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  1. Posted February 12, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    What’s the point? Productive Innovation Index?

    This sounds like “consultant speak” for a force ranking of the most successful introductions over the last three years. If that passes as an “innovation Index” then I suggest the Index has little utility. Very few of the products commercialized in that time period could have completed ‘the valley of death’ in that time frame. So the Index picks winners after the fact. Not much utility for that.

  2. Mike Rea
    Posted February 18, 2013 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    You so nearly understood it, then you didn’t… Yes it ranks companies for their ability to launch innovative products successfully, no it can’t look into the future and guess what ‘innovative’ means. So, the utility is in the title: who has been the most productive?

    So, unless you think it’s irrelevant how companies rank versus each other for their ability to launch innovative products, your comments sound more like you have a better methodology, or haven’t understood our methodology properly.

    Or that you’re trying to make a point about the consultants we appoint to our team versus those whom we don’t…

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