Skip to Main Content
Access your saved content
This report describes how lean six sigma can revitalize pharmaceutical innovation for high performance.
The cost of pharmaceutical R&D has been rising at an exponential rate. In the last 15 years, the cost of developing a single medication has more than tripled, from roughly $300 million to more than $1 billion. Clearly this unrestrained growth is unsustainable, especially in today’s business climate where cost containment is so important.
In this article that originally appeared at PharmaExec online in July 2009, Accenture posits that while pharmaceutical research relies on the best science, its workflows remain distinctly flawed. Chris McKenna, senior director–Process & Innovation Performance, Accenture, argues that improving processes using Lean Six Sigma can help pharmaceutical researchers achieve high performance by driving down costs without having to curtail the development of much-needed drugs.
Pharmaceutical firms that use the Lean Six Sigma management discipline are seeing increased operational speed, improved quality, reduced costs and enhanced customer satisfaction. By automating manual activities, driving out non-value-added activities and streamlining complex process flows, Lean Six Sigma projects can free scientists from routine administrative and compliance tasks, allowing them to focus on innovation.
An estimated two-thirds of top pharmaceutical companies have already implemented Lean Six Sigma programs, primarily on the technical operations side, and some on the commercial side, with a much lower percentage of projects in R&D.
In this article, Accenture addresses ways to address internal reluctance about Lean Six Sigma in pharmaceutical R&D, as well the potential financial gains; for example, the return on investment in Lean Six Sigma projects can often be recovered by the end of the first year after implementation.
October 20, 2010
Outlook from Accenture
Outlook is a journal of high-performance business.
View Latest Issue
Accenture delivers a wide range of healthcare solutions—from addressing back office functions and electronic medical records to clinical transformation and consumer engagement. Our solutions are backed by real-world experience, business and clinical insights and innovative technologies.
Insight Driven Health for U.S. Federal Healthcare Organizations
From innovating patient care at the Veteran’s Administration to developing incentives for higher quality care at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. federal health agencies are revolutionizing healthcare in the United States.
Insight Driven Health for U.S. State Healthcare Organizations
The convergence of cost pressures, healthcare reform and technology changes are redefining the landscape for U.S. state healthcare organizations.
Browse all in Health
Skip Footer Links