Science Business: The Promise, the Reality, and the Future of Biotech

Summary: Why has the biotechnology industry failed to perform up to expectations – despite all its promise? In Science Business, Gary P. Pisano, Ph.D. answers this question by providing an incisive critique of the industry. Dr. Pisano not only reveals the underlying causes of biotech’s problems; he offers the most sophisticated analysis yet on how the industry works. And he provides clear prescriptions for companies, investors, and policymakers seeking ways to improve the industry’s performance. According to Dr. Pisano, the biotech industry’s problems stem from its special character as a science-based business. This character poses three unique business challenges: (1) how to finance highly risky investments under profound uncertainty and long time horizons for R&D, (2) how to learn rapidly enough to keep pace with advances in drug science knowledge, and (3) how to integrate capabilities across a broad spectrum of scientific and technological knowledge bases.

Business%20of%20Healthcare%20Innovation.jpgThe Business of Healthcare Innovation

Summary: Robert Lawton Burns, Ph.D., MBA focuses on the key role of the ‘producers’ as the main source of innovation in this wide-ranging analysis of business trends in the manufacturing branch of the health care industry. Written by industry academics and executives, the book provides a detailed overview of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, genomics / proteomics, medical device, and information technology sectors. Most importantly, it describes the growing convergence between these sectors and the need for executives in one sector to increasingly draw upon trends in the others.

Overdose%20by%20Richard%20Epstein.jpgOverdose: How Excessive Government Regulation Stifles Pharmaceutical Innovation

Summary: This book is the first to offer a comprehensive examination of the pharmaceutical industry by following the tortuous course of a new drug as it progresses from early development to final delivery. Richard A. Epstein looks closely at the regulatory framework that surrounds all aspects of making pharmaceutical products today, and he assesses which current legal and regulatory practices make sense and which have gone awry. While critics of pharmaceutical companies call for ever more stringent controls on virtually every aspect of drug development and approval, Professor Epstein cautions that the effect of such an approach will be to stifle pharmaceutical innovation and slow the delivery of beneficial treatments to the patients who need them.

The%20New%20Medicines.jpgThe New Medicines: How Drugs are Created, Approved, Marketed, and Sold

Today, most people use prescription medications. Every year, the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry produces new medicines that treat everything from arthritis to AIDS, from high cholesterol to depression. But, despite recent controversies regarding the safety of drugs, consumers know little about the medications that they ingest and inject. How are these new medicines invented? How do consumers know that drugs are safe and effective? How are they tested? Who regulates their production – and who watches the regulators? How do drug companies produce the vast quantities needed for the marketplace, and why do they market their drugs as they do? The New Medicines (by Bernice Schacter, Ph.D.) leads the reader through the maze of the modern drug industry – from bench to bedside – and provides consumers with a step-by-step understanding of how new medicines are created, approved, marketed, and sold.

Inside%20the%20FDA.jpgInside the FDA: The Business and Politics Behind the Drugs We Take and the Food We Eat

Because of the importance of what it regulates, the FDA comes under tremendous political, industry, and consumer pressure. But the pressure goes far beyond the ordinary lobbying of Washington trade groups. Its mandate – one quarter of the national economy – brings the FDA into the middle of some of the most important and contentious issues of modern society. From “designer” babies and abortion to the price of prescription drugs and the role of government itself, Inside the FDA takes readers on an intriguing journey into the world of today’s most powerful consumer agency. In a time when companies continue to accuse the FDA of nitpicking and needlessly delaying needed new drugs, and consumers are convinced that the agency bends to industry pressure by rushing unsafe drugs to market, Inside the FDA digs deep to reveal the truth. Through scores of interviews and real-world stories, author Fran Hawthorne (senior contributing editor of Institutional Investor) also shows how and why the agency makes some of its most controversial decisions as well as how its recent reaction to certain issues – including the revolutionary cancer drug Erbitux, stem cell research, and bioengineering of food – may jeopardize its ability to keep up with future scientific developments.

More Excellent Books on Pharma and Biotech:

For additional reading on the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology, and prescription drug issues, please check out my recommended reading lists:

Best Blog on FDA and Pharma Industry Communications:

For insightful, industry-savvy advice on the FDA, drug regulation, and pharma strategic communications, please visit Eye on FDA – the excellent blog by my friend and colleague Mark Senak, JD, senior vice president at Fleishman-Hillard.