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Changing Strategies of Big Pharma

The life sciences are transforming pharmaceutical companies in terms of both internal R&D processes and strategies for external knowledge capture - mergers, acquisitions, strategic alliances and licensing.

Dr. Mittra's research on life science innovation and the pharmaceutical industry reveals that these are a cluster of related activities that provide various strategic options for managing innovation and productivity deficit. However, because the preferred balance between in-house R&D and externally sourced knowledge appears dependent on a number of firm-specific factors, as well as challenges posed by an uncertain operating environment, there appears to be increasing variation between large companies in how these activities are exploited and managed.

His findings beg the question of whether it is still useful to talk about big Pharma as if it were homogeneous, and have important implications for how we understand the evolution of the multinationals and their relationships and interactions with the smaller biotechnology sector.