Pharma's road map for navigating industry change

We all know Big Pharma is going through an upheaval so far-reaching, it's like the prehistoric earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that made our mountains. To survive these changes, drugmakers are using strategies familiar to any industry-watcher, including diversification, emerging markets and R&D restructuring.

But it's always nice to get a wrap-up of pharma trends, with a little expert opinion thrown in. And the Financial Times provides, with a story analyzing Big Pharma's best efforts. FT includes a number of examples: For product diversification, there's Sanofi-Aventis buying Zentiva, Pfizer hooking up with Aurobindo and Claris Life Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline teaming up with South Africa's Aspen, Novartis acquiring Alcon, GSK buying Stiefel Labs... and so on.

Geographic dispersion? What about Abbott Laboratories' purchase of Solvay, with its strong presence in emerging markets. We could add Sanofi's acquistions in Brazil and Mexico, Eli Lilly's big push into China, and more.

Pricing strategies? GlaxoSmithKline is rolling out tiered pricing for certain emerging markets. Sanofi has cut prices in the developing world, too, as has Pfizer. They're all looking to make up on volume what they lose to discounted prices. Several companies--Novartis and Johnson & Johnson among them--have struck risk-sharing deals on drug prices, to get their pricier meds covered by government health systems.

We'll leave the R&D analysis to the FT. Check it out.

- read the FT article