Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2005

Pharmaceutical Industry in 2005, The

by John R. Wells and Elizabeth Raabe


The entire pharmaceutical industry faced uncertain times in 2005. Many of the industry's most pressing issues--patent expirations, new drug pipeline development, price pressures, regulatory issues, and political pressures--were long standing. Fundamentally new technologies were changing the way drugs were discovered, developed, and tested, allowing smaller, specialized competitors to enter the industry, compete in new ways, and grow to challenge the majors. Some observers were even questioning whether the blockbuster model on which the industry was based could continue. Blockbuster drugs, with sales of more than $1 billion a year, were becoming increasingly difficult and costly to develop. In this context, and with stock prices depressed, the industry majors were reflecting on their strategies.

Keywords: Strategy; Research and Development; Framework; Change; Competition; Technological Innovation; Pharmaceutical Industry;


Wells, John R., and Elizabeth Raabe. "Pharmaceutical Industry in 2005, The." Harvard Business School Case 706-423, October 2005.