Dr. Shaywitz trained in internal medicine and endocrinology at MGH, and conducted his post-doctoral research in the Melton lab at Harvard. He gained experience in early clinical drug development in the Department of Experimental Medicine at Merck, then joined the Boston Consulting Group’s Healthcare and Corporate Development practices, where he focused on strategy and organizational design. He is currently Director of Strategic and Commercial Planning at Theravance, a publicly-held drug development company in South San Francisco.
Ph.D., Biology, M.I.T.
M.D., Health Sciences & Technology Program, Harvard Medical School/M.I.T.
A.B., summa cum laude, Biochemistry, Harvard College
Drug companies -- at least every one that I've worked with -- would like to develop important new medicines that improve health and save lives. That's what gets every industry researcher I know up in the morning, and what keeps them going through the many highs and lows that characterize the scientific process.
Given the tremendous headwinds facing the biopharmaceutical industry today, it is questionable whether traditional, management will continue to prove an effective strategy, or whether they ultimately will be run over by smaller companies willing to bet on a larger vision, leanly executed.
Every week, it seems, I come across a new story about data analysts proposing to mine data from either medical records or social media to identify potential new harmful drug side effects. I worry about us heading down this road.
Rather than isolating doctors, the new technology promises to be fundamentally enabling, allowing doctors to redefine and strengthen their relationships -- with patients and with colleagues. The result: a new sense of connection and meaning.
Medicine increasingly seems to take its cues from the business world; hospital executives worship at the altar of operational efficiency. Yet, before we give ourselves over entirely to management consultants, it may be prudent to consider an alternative line of inquiry: can business learn from medicine?
AstraZeneca's revitalization strategy, announced this week, follows the same playbook used by so many in the industry, employing approaches vividly familiar from my consulting days: cut headcount, externalize R&D, focus on select therapeutic areas, push biologics, and explore an interesting flyer.