February 13th, 2013

Distinct Innovation Model Sets Johnson & Johnson Apart

By: Michael McCaffrey, Senior Director, Johnson & Johnson Corporate Communication

Innovation is the lifeblood to success for any company competing in the healthcare industry.  When it comes to innovation, many healthcare companies have robust, longstanding processes that are highly standardized and easily repeatable over time.  However, many of these innovation processes have one shortcoming – they are often front loaded — ie, the bulk of attention is given to idea generation and refinement, with little or no upfront consideration to late stage elements like regulatory strategy, commercialization and access effects.  In a rush to market, this lack of foresight can lead to hasty decisions and a ‘push it through’ mentality resulting in poor launch execution and weaker than expected market performance.

At Johnson & Johnson we are focused on creating value through innovation.  We believe meaningful innovation derives from the insight and spirit of our employees, and their ability to anticipate and understand the needs of patients and what they value.  What’s truly unique about our innovation model is our insistence on early identification and development of downstream strategies to optimize everything from access to outcomes.  Our model is ‘end-to-end,’ meaning ingenuity is applied throughout the process of bringing innovation to market.  Ultimately, our goal is to bring the best products and solutions as quickly as possible to the greatest number of people who need them.  For the employees of Johnson & Johnson it’s more than a business imperative, it’s a personal responsibility – embodied by the principles set forth in Our Credo.  We are driven to care for others and help billions of people around the world live longer, healthier and happier lives.

That’s why I was thrilled to learn that Johnson & Johnson topped a list of the most innovative global pharmaceutical firms according to the IDEA Pharma Productive Innovation Index.  The Index measures and scores the ability of major industry players to deliver innovation to market, by objectively measuring their performance using publicly available data.  The index is based on the premise that if you gave the same novel molecule to two companies they would end up in different places — due to significant differences in their approach to commercialization.  IDEA Pharma analyzes a range of observations including speed to market, attrition rate in phase III, sales versus ostensibly similar molecules, and regulatory success.  Mike Rea, CEO of IDEA Pharma states, ‘This year there were two major factors which contributed to Johnson & Johnson’s number one ranking.  It successfully brought to market Zytiga …for use in the treatment of prostate cancer – and furthermore it was a major riser in the Access to Medicine Index, which is of increasing global importance’.

Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson recently articulated the success of ZYTIGA® (abiraterone acetate) as an outcome of our innovation model.  In a meeting with analysts in January he pointed to our formula which linked the best science with a comprehensive development plan to support the potential of ZYTIGA, and make a meaningful difference in the lives of metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) patients. ZYTIGA addresses a significant unmet need in a stage of prostate cancer where few treatments had previously been available, revolutionizing prostate cancer treatment.  Since its first approval in the U.S. in 2011, ZYTIGA has been approved in more than 65 countries and is the most successful oral oncology launch in history.  More than 50,000 men worldwide have received treatment with ZYTIGA, and it is quickly becoming one of the cornerstones of treatment for men with mCRPC.  And, recently, ZYTIGA received approval from both the FDA and the EMA for use in combination with prednisone for the treatment of men with mCRPC who had not received chemotherapy.  This expanded indication means that more men with mCRPC may benefit from treatment with ZYTIGA.

Before moving to Corporate Communication, I worked in Marketing at a number of J&J operating companies and participated on many innovation teams.  I’ve worked side-by side with cross-functional partners — in R&D, Medical, Regulatory and Sales — to conceive, plan and launch new products and health solutions that would make a difference in the lives of people around the globe.  I can attest to the hard work, determination and unwavering passion that propels these teams to seek the best solutions to patient needs, and imagine new, unique approaches to ensure the broadest access.  Top honors from IDEA Pharma is one more indication that our innovation model is working, and that it sets us apart.

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