Virtual Pharma, Externalization, FIPNet, VIPCO – like gravity, you can fight it, but you’ll lose (Part 1)

Virtual Pharma Externalization

puzzle pieces

Yesterday’s expensive FIPCO (Fully Integrated Pharmaceutical Company) model has been replaced with today’s FIPNet (Fully Integrated Pharmaceutical Network) aka VIPCO (Virtually Integrated Pharmaceutical Company) models.  What does this really mean?  What are the pitfalls when implemented poorly?  What is the potential upside?  Which people and technologies will win in this new environment?

To really work, organizations need strong, even stronger, people skills to manage both within and between organizations with separate bosses.   There are Strategic (better/unique capabilities, lower costs) and Tactical (dial up or down fast, different buckets on the balance sheet for CFO types) reasons why this will, for better and worse, be the model of the future.   Organizations like the NIH and Gates Foundation are already working primarily in this mode.   But what makes externalized R&D succeed or fail?

The right technology can mean the difference between success and failure.  In this Brave New World, for remote adoption and utility, the most useful technologies will be:

  1. Simple – lightweight for data capture
  2. Collaborative – flexible for facile, secure data partitioning
  3. Scalable – nonlinear growth in collaborations, with linear growth in resources

Although the 3rd item is a people cost (which is always the most expensive part), the selection of the right, cloud-based easy-to-adopt technology platform will have an order of magnitude impact on the real costs on both the Customer and the Vendor sides.

How these three key prerequisites “simplicity, collaboration, and scalability” set up externalized R&D for success will each be explored in detail in this timely series…stay tuned!

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