A leading pharmaceutical company asked BCG to help develop a comprehensive strategy to become the leader in the treatment of a complex disease. This disease is particularly challenging, characterized by significant unmet patient need and a highly uncertain, complex scientific landscape.
Despite a tremendous volume of research, there is no consensus on the cause of the disease and no drugs in the market to treat it. BCG teamed with leaders from across our client’s R&D and commercial functions to develop a comprehensive strategy to succeed in the immediate term and to capitalize on opportunities from emerging science in the long term.
To me, this represents the very best of our work: a client and BCG team coming together to work on an incredibly challenging problem, leveraging the skills and experience of the entire team to solve that problem, and ultimately implementing a solution to have a significant positive impact on our client’s business.
At the onset, the BCG team helped provide structure and facilitation for our client's deep content knowledge, then helped them focus on the most important issues. We worked together to develop critical insights about the current and potential marketplace and the roadmap to success, then created and launched an execution plan that rallied the organization around that roadmap and started them down that path.
It was especially rewarding for me to see BCG and client team members grow and develop as they tackled a seemingly intractable problem and found ways to address it together. By the end of the project, BCG team members started to master many of the intricacies of the technical content and brought insight to and from it. In addition, client team members started to structure their thinking and work in new and strategic ways.
One year later, it is rewarding to see the significant progress our client has made.
This project required me to leverage my medical background with the skills I have developed at BCG to help our client better understand the competitive landscape. Throughout the case, I was able to interact with leading industry scientists and was able to structure highly technical content in a way that allowed our client to see things in a new way for their business.
The most rewarding aspect of this project was the way the BCG team collaborated with our client. The landscape was literally changing in front of our eyes as we tracked important developments across the industry. During the course of the project, two highly-anticipated drugs failed and a third emerged from a start-up that few had on their radar.
In such a dynamic and uncertain environment, the joint client-BCG team needed to bridge differing viewpoints, create links across work streams, articulate strategic options, and move quickly to develop a solution that made long-term sense for our client.
This project was definitely a highlight in my career at BCG. Through our client’s success, I am confident that we are making a significant contribution to an important area of medicine.
Our agenda was to engage with top experts both inside and outside of the company, and no strategy was off the table.
I had three key responsibilities on this project: (1) to create "game boards" to understand competitive dynamics between various hypothetical drugs, vaccinations, diagnostic tools and medical devices that could enter the market in the next 20 years, (2) to develop a tool to help our client track and process significant amounts of market activity information, and (3) to capture ideas for tailoring the R&D processes and organization to the unique goal of developing drugs to treat this disease.
This project provided an exciting opportunity to engage with senior client leaders on an area of significant scientific and competitive complexity with an even greater social need.
I didn’t know what to expect when I joined this effort as a summer intern, but the project turned out to be an incredibly rewarding learning experience. My team was extremely supportive throughout the process and encouraged me to take the lead on my work, offering guidance and support whenever I needed it.
I was given two areas to focus on for this case. First, I helped evaluate the attractiveness of introducing nutrition-based supplements for patients with this disease. This included analyzing the market, estimating the potential market size, and conducting the cost/benefit analysis of market entry.
Second, I evaluated various options to accelerate the development of drugs currently in our client’s pipeline. To do this, I modeled the impact and trade-offs of cost, return, timing and risk.
It was rewarding to own an important work stream from beginning to end while working closely with our client. Through my experience, I learned how consultants approach problems and what it truly means to work collaboratively with clients to achieve the best results.
This project was the perfect situation for BCG consultants who are intellectually curious, rigorous thinkers with a passion for building competitive advantage and a desire to be part of the advancement of a critical area of medicine.
As the Principal of this project, I needed to help the team build deep expertise quickly, define the highest priority issues, attack key questions in collaboration with clients, and come together to assemble one cohesive strategy. I’m hard-pressed to think of anything more professionally fulfilling than leading a team through the challenges of this effort.
It was also incredibly rewarding to work with client leaders from across the business. In a complex industry, it is rare for content experts from different areas to really absorb each others’ perspectives in an effort to create winning competitive positions.
BCG brings a first-of-its-kind offering, as BCG Digital Ventures aims to form strategic venture teams with clients in order to create and grow disruptive digital platforms.More