Implications of the Business Strategies of Pharmaceutical Companies for Industry Developments in Australia

Rasmussen, Bruce ORCID: 0000-0001-5779-0339 (2002) Implications of the Business Strategies of Pharmaceutical Companies for Industry Developments in Australia. Working Paper. Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.


The pharmaceutical industry is highly complex. The technologies leading to drug discovery and development are at the limits of human knowledge. The huge size of the companies and the complexities of their processes and technologies presents many organisational and management challenges. The development and management of the distribution system is highly costly. However while excellence in managing all these aspects of the industry is a necessary condition for the survival of the global pharmaceutical companies, the uncertainty of the discovery process and the potentially huge returns from the discovery of a single drug means that like drilling for oil or randomly choosing the black beans from a jar of overwhelmingly white ones, success in the industry depends on a high measure of luck. Much of the thinking about business strategy in the industry is how best to cope with this uncertainty. This has not always been the case. Colonel Ely Lilly gained his initial competitive advantage, in manufacturing, by producing 'true to label' products in competition with the various 'snake oils' and other dubious concoctions of the era.

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Item type Monograph (Working Paper)
DOI No. 1
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 320000 Medical and Health Sciences
Historical > FOR Classification > 1115 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES)
Keywords pharmaceutical industry; biotechnology; technological advances; business strategies of pharmaceutical companies; Australia; competition
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