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Decision-making in product portfolios of pharmaceutical research and development – managing streams of innovation in highly regulated markets

Authors Jekunen A

Received 29 May 2014

Accepted for publication 24 July 2014

Published 21 October 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 2009—2016

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S68579

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Shu-Feng Zhou

Antti Jekunen

Vaasa Oncology Clinic, Vaasa, Finland

Abstract: Decision-making is a core function of any drug development firm. Developing drugs demands a firm to be highly innovative, while at the same time the activity is strictly regulated. Successful drug development offers the right to apply for a long-term patent that confers exclusive marketing rights. This article addresses the issue of what constitutes an adequate portfolio of drugs for a drug development firm and how it might be managed successfully. The paper investigates decision-making in the industry and specifically in the development of oncology drugs from various perspectives: the need for decisions, their timing, decision-making at the project level, the optimal portfolio, tools for portfolio analysis, the evaluation of patents, and finally the importance of the drug portfolio. Drug development decisions as important organizational elements should get more emphasis, and decisions in drug portfolio using modern decision-making methods should be used more widely than what currently happens. Structured, informed decisions would help avoiding late terminations of drugs in Phase III development. An improved research and development pipeline and drug portfolio management are the major elements in the general strategy targeting success.

Keywords: decision-making, drug development, clinical oncology, product management, pipeline, portfolio, portfolio analysis, company organization

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