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From the 'rhetoric of hope' to the 'patient-active paradigm'strategic positioning of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies

Bower, DJ

Technology Analysis & Strategic Management   17 (2) 183-204

January 2005   (Version of record first published January 2007)

In this paper overt repositioning of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in relation to patients and the wider public between 1990 and 2002 is analysed. It is proposed that this repositioning is linked to their success in gaining public acceptance of their use of genetics-based technologies to develop novel products. It is argued that this has helped biopharmaceutical companies to avoid the public stigmatisation that agrochemical companies incurred when they employed the same technologies to develop GM Crops. Implications are drawn for the ability of established and of new firms exploiting emerging technologies to position themselves strategically in the future in an arena that is ethically and culturally acceptable to the public and hence to investors.