An assortment of pharmaceutical-, biotech-, and business-related articles that extend the value already provided by our print magazine.
By Eric Shaffer
Being, thinking, and communicating in the positive take time and effort and are an absolute must for all leaders.
Imagine you are the captain leading your troops into a battle to overtake a beach. Your troops are on the landing craft protected by a metal bow that soon will lower as a ramp so they can storm the heavily fortified beach. As they get closer to the beach, they can hear the metallic ping of bullets. They can hear the cries of their comrades already in battle. In their chests, they can feel the percussive thud of explosions and they smell burning oil and sulfur. Many are nauseated from the smell and the constant undulations and spiked surges of the waves. They are petrified with fear knowing that at any moment, the ramp will drop and a hail of bullets will shower them with probable death. Do you think your troops would want to follow you if you are complaining about the dangers and whining about the difficulty and the probable lack of success?
In battle, a leader’s pessimism, negativity, and lack of confidence and vision usually produce one result – death. But as powerful as the negative is, and even if there is an insurmountable amount of negative, a positive can defeat it all. A powerful and inspiring leader, who speaks using positive words and vision, can be the light that overtakes the entire negative.
The same can be said for leading your team in business. The business world is a battlefield, and your employees—your troops—are looking for you to guide and lead them to victory. No matter what adversity or obstacles they face, it is your job to be positive and inspire them to achieve success.
For most people, talking in the positive is very difficult. In fact, a study done by Schrauf and Sanchez from Northwestern University found that the ‘working emotion vocabulary’ is typically weighted with words for negative emotions (50%) over positive (30%) and neutral (20%) emotions.
Inherently, the human psyche has the propensity to drift towards the negative. A March 2012 New York Times article reported that negative emotions require more thinking and so the information is more thoroughly processed than positive information. Roy F. Baumeister, a professor of social psychology at Florida State University, says that negative memories take longer to wear off and suggests it is an evolutionary factor writing, “Survival requires urgent attention to possible bad outcomes but less urgent with regard to good ones.”
People want to follow positive leaders. They want a leader to take a negative situation and shine the light on the positive.
It is your job as a leader to invigorate and lead with a positive vision, attitude and communications. Your team listens to your every word and action; they are looking for you to show them the light at the end of the tunnel.
Your heart is pounding with a deep thud of a warrior beating a large drum while leading troops into battle. A small bead of sweat is forming at the top of your brow; you lick your dry lips as you begin your presentation in front of the people that could pay your salary for the next six months.
The economy is tough and consultant work is anemic at best. You need this business and you know if you don’t get it the only thing that will pay your bills is a loan. You have to sell these potential clients on your ability to fix their problems. And you know the competition; they have a lot of experience and come from a big firm.
Sound familiar? Maybe you are a consultant trying to make a living in one of the toughest economies since the Great Depression, or you are a working for a company and trying to sell an idea that can save your job and make the organization more profitable. Either way, you are trying to sell the idea that your experience and abilities are what the organization needs to move forward.
I’ve had the opportunity to observe over 60 vendor/consultant presentations in the last 10 years. Sometimes I was the decision maker and sometimes I was an advisor helping someone else decide which consultant would most help the organization.
These consultants were being asked to build, fix or run something, and they were competing with each other. Most times, there was a clear winner, a consultant who would just knock the ball out of the park.
I started to study the dichotomy between the consultants who won bids versus those who didn’t. I observed and took notes to understand what made successful consultants stand out from the competition. Soon it became quite apparent, and I broke it down into the six simple strategies of an effective consultant sales pitch.
1. Be Present
What do I mean by be present? I literally mean be there—in the room.I’ve observed consultants try to sell their services while on a conference call or an interactive web meeting.We are in a technological age where meetings can be held virtually over long distances, but nothing takes the place of an in-person presentation. Being present also shows the customer that you are interested in their business.Not being there in person suggests you may not be enthusiastic and you miss the opportunity to build trust and rapport.
2. Use the “6 P’s of Persuasion”
3. Pay Attention
Be aware of who is in the room and look for their reactions as you are presenting or answering questions. Observe their posture and facial reactions. Monitor their response after you answer a question or concern. If a customer asks you a question and there is a long pause after your answer, investigate. Don’t ignore it and move on. I have observed several occasions where the consultant was asked a question and the answer was either lacking substance or evasive. This was usually followed by silence and then the consultant would move on as if the customer was satisfied with the answer. Pay attention to these pauses, and if you don’t have an answer, let them know you will follow up.
I have also seen instances where a customer would actually feed the answers to a consultant. The customer would ask a question. The consultant’s answer was anemic and the customer would try to help out by answering the question. If this happens, you are in trouble.
4. Give Examples of Your Work
Have high level examples of your work and the benefit you have brought to other customers. Use positive examples of how your services were instrumental in helping an organization grow or achieve its goals. Do not use examples of negative outcomes when a client did not use your service or your products. Generally when a customer is evaluating your service they will focus on what benefits you brought other organizations. I have never been in a post evaluation meeting where anyone reviewed or was moved by examples of organizations not using a specific consultant.
Also have letters of recommendation with you and prior customers that can be called for a reference.
5. Don’t Be a Bobble Head
Bobble heads are great giveaways at sporting events, but they do not make for good attendees during a sales pitch. Bobble heads are those extra individuals that a consultant brings with them to show the size of their team and to basically smile and nod their head in agreement to anything the lead consultant is saying. Bobble heads usually do not add any value or answer any questions. They are there to agree with the presenter. I think the objective of a bobble head is to shake their head in agreement so much that the potential client also starts to unconsciously nod their head in agreement. If you are bringing your team with you, make sure they have something to add to the meeting.
Awhile back I was at a presentation where three bobble heads were in attendance while the lead consultant gave a monologue. The lead consultant was asked who was going to be on the team that directly interacted with us. We assumed it was one of the bobble heads. However, the lead consultant explained it would be a junior person and did not give a name or background of the individual. Instead he described the person in generalities. It is important to have the person who will be working with the client at the initial meeting. It gives the client a sense of who they are going to work with and is the genesis of a trusting relationship.
6. Be a Partner
Organizations want more than a project manager; they want a partner, someone to help the organization define strategies and tactics. They are looking for a long term win-win relationship. It is always nice to hear examples of long-term relationships consultants have developed with their clients.
It doesn’t matter how good or talented you are, if you cannot sell yourself nobody will ever know. Following these six simple strategies can help you during those first encounters with a potential client or when presenting an idea to your executive leaders.
Moscow, April 29, 2013 – The Russian delegation took part in the world largest event for professionals of the biotechnology industry, the BIO International Convention 2013.
One of the Forum’s main sessions – “Spotlight on the BRICS: Russia” on April, 22consisted of two separate blocks: “The role of biopharm clusters in the modernization and technological development of the Russian economy” and “Pharma2020. Russia's transformation from emerging to one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical markets”. The first block was marked by the reports and speeches from Sergey Tsyb, Head of the Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, Andrey Ivashchenko (ChemRar), Alexey Repik (R-Pharm) and Alberto Coles (AbbVie); the second block - Oleg Fomichev, State Secretary - Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Russia, Nikolay Savchuk (ChemRar), Ivan Bortnik (AIRR), Igor Agamirzyan (RVC), Anna Protopapas (Takeda). The leaders and representatives of the largest Russian pharmaceutical companies and development institutions were present as the experts of the sessions. Among them: Oleg Demidov (Vnesheconombank), Petr Rodionov (Geropharm), Zakhar Golant (ХХI Century Medical and Pharmaceutical Projects), Dmitry Kulish (Nanolek). Over 200 participants attended the Russian session.
If you haven’t begun making provisions for your serialization strategy, there are important points to consider…
In 2010, The Centre for Medicines in the Public Interest in the United States predicted that counterfeit drug sales would reach $75 billion globally in 2010, an increase of more than 90 per cent from 2005 based on estimates from WHO. Based on findings from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, the world pharmaceutical market was worth over $856 billion in 2010, meaning counterfeit medicines accounted for 8.76% of the global market.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies spurious/falsely-labeled/falsified/counterfeit medicines (SFFC) as “one which is deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled with respect to identity and/or source”, can “apply to both branded and generic products” and “may include products with the correct ingredients or with the wrong ingredients, without active ingredient, with insufficient active ingredients or with fake packaging”. While estimations have been made, no global study has been carried out and so figures are speculative. However, it has been estimated that in over 50% of cases, medicines purchased over the internet from illegal sites that conceal their physical address1 have been found to be counterfeit. In developing countries it is thought that between 30% and 40% of drugs in supply are counterfeit.2
While the nature of the problem varies from country to country, pharmaceutical companies, governments and health agencies believe that the threat from organized crime can be curtailed by the implementation of serialization.
By George Colindres at law firm Perkins Coie
I recently participated in a panel discussion on crowdfunding for biosciences, and I wanted to share some of the ideas we discussed. Although focused on life sciences companies, many of the issues are applicable to tech companies too.
There are different types of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding where the contributor receives an ownership interest in the business that is collecting the funds is different than crowdfunding where the contributor receives goods (e.g., some product to be developed using the contributions or a tchotchke) or nothing at all. This first type of crowdfunding is referred to as “equity crowdfunding,” and because the ownership interest is a “security” under federal and state securities laws, it is highly regulated.
Bob Hugin, CEO of Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG), takes a moment to pose for a photo with Rob Wright, chief editor Life Science Leader magazine (holding the April 2013 issue with Hugin on the cover) at this year’s Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) annual meeting (April 10 – 12) in San Diego. Hugin was elected to replace John Lechleiter, CEO for Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY), as the 2013 chairman of the PhRMA board. In an exclusive interview for the April 2013 issue of Life Science Leader, Hugin discusses the importance of protecting U.S. medical innovation via government and regulatory policies which encourage and reward companies for investing in R&D. “If we don’t recognize that the whole system has to be successful, these innovations are going to be made elsewhere, and the economic benefit is going to accrue in other countries,” says Hugin.
This year’s PhRMA meeting was attended by nearly 300 executives representing the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies. In addition to Hugin, Wright and Life Science Leader contributing editor Wayne Koberstein, had the opportunity to meet with a number of other PhRMA attendees, which included Bausch + Lomb chairman of the board Fred Hassan, Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) CEO Lamberto Andreotti, Merck (NYSE: MRK) CEO Ken Frazier, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) CEO Ian Reed, PhRMA president and CEO John Castellani, Quintiles CEO Tom Pike, and Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) CEO Chris Viehbacher. This year’s annual meeting concluded with a rousing keynote presentation by cancer survivor Chuck Pagano, head coach of the NFL Indianapois Colts. Pagano described his experience with leukemia, admonishing biopharmaceutical companies to push through adversity, refuse to lower expectations, and continue to provide research, progress, and hope to patients like him.
By Jennifer Geetter
On October 11, 2012, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues released its report, “Privacy and Progress in Whole Genome Sequencing.” In issuing the Report, the Commission hoped to identify and document informational privacy and data risks attendant to whole genome sequencing (WGS). The Report sets forth 12 recommendations for how best to maximize the utility and availability of WGS while balancing important public policy and ethical concerns across the following goals: (1) data protections simultaneous with data access and sharing; (2) data security and access to secure databases; (3) different consent models; (4) facilitating WGS progress; and (5) maximizing public benefit.
By Scott Szczesny
Making a strong financial offer to a job candidate is clearly important, but there are many other things that top-tier companies do to increase the likelihood that they close the deal.
The life sciences sector is in the midst of an extremely competitive, candidate driven job market. Companies are battling one another for the same scientific talent. Recruiting in this market often means trying to convince a candidate to leave a job in order to join your team. The most obvious way to succeed in this endeavor is to be aggressive with compensation. It is imperative that companies give candidates a financial incentive when presenting a job offer, but there are other things that top tier companies do to differentiate themselves in the recruiting game.
By JJ Coughlin, VP of Law Enforcement Services, LoJack Supply Chain Integrity
When you review information collected by the Supply Chain – Information Sharing and Analysis Center since 2005, you find that Life Science products are many of the goods that are sought and targeted by both organized and opportunistic cargo theft crews. Most people have no idea that cargo theft is a major issue or that certain products are targeted.
Actually, when you analyze the data from cargo theft activity, you find that the number one factor in how organized cargo theft crews target products is by the involved commodity. If you manufacture or distribute any of these targeted products, the risk in your supply chain grows exponentially. Life science goods such as pharmaceuticals, foods, nutritional products, vitamins and power drinks have all found their way into the top of the targeted cargo theft products during the data analysis.
The pharmaceutical industry is in the midst of an unprecedented change as combined U.S. product portfolios are losing patent protection for numerous blockbuster brands, costing the industry hundreds of billions in revenue. Over the last five years, it’s been estimated that the industry has lost over $60 billion due to patent expirations. And as more patents expire, the loss in revenue is anticipated to balloon to $200 billion through 2015. It’s no longer business as usual for the pharmaceutical industry as firms attempt to shore up their pipelines through acquisitions, bring new drugs to market, and right-size organizations based upon decreased revenues.