Transforming the Big Pharma People-Purpose System (PPS) with Joined Up Thinking (JUT)


PharmaFlow, Bridgend, Wales, United Kingdom


The public perception of Big Pharma is at an all-time low, as reported in recent months.  This has come as little surprise to many, as lowering of public perception has been ongoing for many years.

This paper explores the systemic issues that have led to this fall from grace, and more importantly, suggests a new operating model that could transform Big Pharma fortunes over the longer term. 

The model is based on Big Pharma revisiting its purpose in the world of medicines and the way it harnesses people within their organisations to deliver on that purpose. Most importantly, it demonstrates how a return to Joined Up Thinking (JUT) has the potential to place Big Pharma at the top of the pole, while giving end-users of its products and services levels of excellence they could only have dreamt of.


Following the opioid crisis in the US, the public perception of Big Pharma is at an all-time low. Even up until this point, issues such as seemingly unstoppable price hikes (insulin as an example), questionable marketing practices and me-too drugs entering the market, public perception was languishing in the doldrums anyway.


So, what has been happening here? What happened to the days of George W Merck and his famous quote from 1950:


“We try never to forget that medicine is for the people. It is not for the profits. The profits follow, and if we have remembered that, they have never failed to appear. The better we have remembered it, the larger they have been!”


If I can answer my own question, and please challenge if you will, the words ‘profits’ and ‘patients’ have been interchanged, so that profits have now replaced patients.


There is a clear system dynamic that explains how this happened which has been published previously. For the purposes of this paper, I will focus on the present day, and how to remediate the situation ...