BusinessMedical Devices

Yes, “Too Big” Can be a Problem in Device & Diagnostics Companies, Too

1 Mins read

This morning, Luke Timmerman of Xconomy wrote about “The Fall of Pfizer: How Big is Too Big for Pharma Innovation?” Acknowledging that while big companies such as Apple and Google are known for innovation – in contrast to some of the large pharmaceutical companies, Luke asked, “Is there something about life sciences that requires it to stay small if it wants to innovate?” He goes

This morning, Luke Timmerman of Xconomy wrote about “The Fall of Pfizer: How Big is Too Big for Pharma Innovation?” Acknowledging that while big companies such as Apple and Google are known for innovation – in contrast to some of the large pharmaceutical companies, Luke asked, “Is there something about life sciences that requires it to stay small if it wants to innovate?” He goes on to write about a Fortune article that captured some of Pfizer’s recent woes, which appear to be based upon micro-management, indecisiveness, second-guessing, office politics, and more.

From our vantage points as life science consultants with operational experience in big and small device companies and who spend considerable time now working with life sciences start-ups as well as with large companies, it is clear that “too big” can also be a major issue for diagnostic and device organizations.

Following are a few thoughts for our friends and clients to bear in mind:

  1. Clearly, Pfizer’s tale reaffirms that – large or small – a life science company MUST have a clear strategy and MUST stick to it.
  2. The Pfizer story also shows that an organizational “federation” (i.e., a loose connection of groups) rather than a strong union is the goal post-acquisition if innovation is not to be stifled.
  3. Organizations like Pfizer face a tremendous amount of pressure from the public markets to deliver expected earnings and growth. At some point (which varies by company), the existing/historical growth trajectory becomes unsustainable. And then the best option may appear to be large-scale divestitures (as with Hewlett-Packard last week). This approach requires strong leadership (which doesn’t always exist).

What insights have your experiences within devices and diagnostics provided to you that can serve as lessons for others? Do you agree that becoming TOO BIG is a risk for the device and diagnostics sides of the life science industry as well? Are you struggling with strategic decisions that we can help address? Please share your thoughts here.

Related posts
BusinessHospital Administration

4 Ways to Enhance Clinical Documentation to Resolve Headaches as a Provider

2 Mins read
In the healthcare sector, information is vital to improving clinical outcomes and saving lives. This is the reason why institutions are always…
BusinessMarketing

The Most Effective Instagram Features and Apps for Your Successful Healthcare Video Marketing

6 Mins read
The global healthcare industry is worth over $9 trillion, and many healthcare companies leverage Instagram’s social network reach to promote their brands,…
BusinessHospital Administration

Pre-Med Majors: How to Best Prepare for Medical School

2 Mins read
Whether you wish to be a doctor, surgeon, medical consultant or dentist, or pursue any other medical profession, the preparation should start…