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Business Development – Basics

Business Development function has evolved in Pharma Industry over the years, though the definition and scope of work vary. Other than Pharma Industry, business development is simply developing business or plain sales. BD in Pharma however has certain specific meanings and is a function seen world over. In this series of Blogs, I shall examine the evolution of BD in Pharma and its scope.

Business Development in Pharma is essentially breaking new ground. It could be one of the following activities.

  • Opening new business segment
  • Opening new therapeutic area
  • In-licensing of Research products
    • At early stage of development
    • At commercialization of clinically developed product
    • After commercialization stage
    • At Market Development stage
  • Out-licensing of Research Products
    • Same situations as above
  • Distribution of products for one or more markets
  • Looking for joint ventures with other companies in home country or abroad
  • Finding contract manufacturers for toll manufacturing in home country or abroad
  • Acquisition of new businesses
  • Acquisition of new manufacturing units
  • Finding other opportunities for business

It is really a bunch of things to do. You can have an idea about the wide scope of work in business development.

It is understandable that any one company will not have all functions of BD in place. They may pick and choose relevant functions. Business Development personnel may function alone or as part of a larger team, depending upon the size and nature of business.

The hierarchy of business development departments has also developed over time. It used to be a one-person department, but now there are more people with specific responsibilities. The top position may now be occupied by a Director. Hierarchy is not an end in itself. It is a means to the end. Director BD will be necessary if the company wishes to pursue big, ambitious goals. A Director would have more authority for decision making and would be able to negotiate and close deals more effectively and efficiently. In addition, he will get better attention and serious ear from the target company/ business.

To be Continued……

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