Change Is the Only Constant

For new cancer drugs, the world is changing. With costs expected to rise 20% annually over the next few years, payers, patients, clinicians and policy makers are taking notice and demanding more, not just in the U.S., but around the globe. New standards are being applied: Cancer drugs must prove economic and clinical value. In other words, drugs with skyrocketing price tags and little more efficacy than current treatments are less likely to be taken up by the market.

Other countries are keeping prices down through pricing controls or negotiated price cuts and Risk Sharing Agreements (RSAs). Also known as outcomes- or performance-based agreements, RSAs offer an assurance of quality and confidence akin to a money back guarantee. More countries are making use of RSAs—and U.S. drug makers will encounter more of these as time rolls on.

But cancer drug makers are not helpless in the face of new requirements. To thrive, they will need to change, too. Our cover story, Global Challenges for Oncology Drugs, addresses the adjustments that manufacturers will need to make to ensure market access.

Of course, these days change is constantly in the air for anyone working at a pharma company. In fact, considering that each day seems to bring news (or just speculation) of a new merger or acquisition it is even possible a person can wake up one morning to discover they are working for an entirely new company.

No acquisition would be bigger than Pfizer’s recent effort to purchase AstraZeneca. After being rebuffed in previous attempts, it was reported by Bloomberg near press time that Pfizer made another push with a bid of more than 63 billion pounds ($106 billion). That would be one of the largest deals in the history of the industry—second only to Pfizer’s acquisition of Warner Lambert for $112 billion. But it wasn’t good enough to entice AstraZeneca as the company swiftly announced that it was rejecting the offer.

But regardless of the size of a deal, M&As leave employees questioning where they stand and leaders wondering how to handle their new responsibilities. Our feature, Coping With the Shake-up of Mergers and Acquisitions, provides managers with the advice they will need to help their teams thrive during this transition and tips on how to make sure their brands remain on track. Even if you have not been affected by the recent slew of M&As it never hurts to be prepared, because you never know what a new day will bring.




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