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Supply Chain Structural Change: Pharmaceutical Industry

Published 27 Feb 2012
Reference 5812
Topic Operations
Industry Pharmaceuticals
Region Global
Summary

The case investigates the impact of the increasing trend of pharmaceutical firms to outsource core research activities to biotech firms and other contract research organizations. The fluid nature of supply chain design in evolving industries is highlighted, and robust supply chain policies to respond to this evolution are proposed.

Teaching objectives

This case is intended to demonstrate the evolving nature of supply chains that include the R&D function in an industry where R&D is considered the mainstay of competitive advantage. The case illustrates how global upheaval in the life sciences industry has forced pharmaceutical firms to search for alternate innovative business models to compete in a globalized world.

Keywords
  • Q21112
  • Outsourcing
  • Supply chain management
  • R&D management
  • Risk sharing
  • Emerging market development
  • Innovative business models
  • Contracts in R&D governance