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The Pharmaceutical Industry in the 21st Century: Surviving in the E-Business Environment

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Abstract

e-... the electronically enabled exchange and management of information to execute (...), is at the core of the most impactful societal change in history, the so called “Information Age.” The pharmaceutical industry likes to think of itself as an innovator, and rightly so in its life science disciplines (so we do not address these areas in this article). However, the story is a little different in the core competency of information management (IM). In IM, the pharmaceutical industry has been conservative at best, if not recalcitrant in adapting to the changes that have already reshaped other industries such as finance, automobile, and aerospace, all of which share with pharmaceuticals some key IM characteristics.

Hence the challenge: How does the pharmaceutical industry survive the exhilarating pace of change that is bringing about the e-business imperatives of the Information Age marking the beginning of this new century? This paper introduces seven trends which are major drivers in determining the way that global markets are taking shape in the Information Age, and outlines some CEO strategic imperatives to address those drivers in various industries, including some of those mentioned above. It then attempts to suggest what could be pharmaceuticals CEOs’ concerns in terms of their organizations’ core competencies, to bring the industry into the new century, given its very historically conservative approach to information management. Finally, it concludes with an account of how the industry’s highly regulated environment has reflected the coming of the Information Age, exemplified by the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997, and how the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America has positioned itself to partner in this transition. A model outlining the various phases to be undertaken is offered in closing.

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Author information

Correspondence to Claudio P. Spiguel PhD.

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Spiguel, C.P. The Pharmaceutical Industry in the 21st Century: Surviving in the E-Business Environment. Ther Innov Regul Sci 34, 709–723 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1177/009286150003400307

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Key Words

  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • e-business
  • Internet
  • Information management
  • Information technology