What keeps C-suite execs up at night? Brands, launches, and cutting costs

Look under a pharma executive's bed, and you'll find monsters. What do those monsters look like, though? Accenture talked to C-suite executives at the world's biggest drugmakers and found that some of yesteryear's scary beings have moved on, leaving others to take front and center.

For instance, top execs are less likely these days to worry about recruiting talent, setting up an effective organizational chart, and getting the most out of their R&D spending. Regulatory compliance? Less scary than before. Same goes for social responsibility.

Instead, C-level managers are staying up late to scheme about cost cutting--no surprise, given the latest surge in job cuts and cost squeezes all over the pharma world. Buying other companies and selling off underperforming units also keep them up at night. Consider Pfizer ($PFE) CEO Ian Read's ongoing buy-and-sell operation, or the big asset swap-and-sale between Novartis ($NVS) and GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK).

Then there's the commercial side of things. Senior pharma types know they need to focus on milking their key brands for sales and profits--and for as long as possible. Product launches loom large, too, with execs mulling over ways to accelerate product uptake, persuade payers their products are better and/or more cost-effective than their rivals, and building up sales and marketing to crack new markets.

Emerging markets come in for some thought, too, but not across the board. Managers who are focused on these fast-growth countries worry about the risks--including pricing pressure and increased competition. And they're weighing ways to tailor product portfolios to individual markets and tweak operating models, too.

- read the post from Accenture

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