Open Journal Systems

Success factors in drug discovery and development

Björn Wallmark

Article ID: 11
Vol 1, Issue 2, 2016, Article identifier:

VIEWS - 1044 (Abstract) 924 (PDF)


The article aimed to give a personal perspective on drug discovery and development. The author has worked both in Big Pharma as a scientist and manager and more recently also in start-up biotech companies. Drug companies have played a major important role in improving population health and will continue to do so. The hurdles and costs for drug development have continuously risen without a parallel enhancement of productivity. There is no single explanation for this and the article outlines success factors and hurdles for effective drug development. Aspects of the external and internal environments that influence Big Pharma productivity is outlined and discussed.


pharmaceutical industry; productivity factors

Full Text:


Included Database


Paul M S, Mytelka D S, Dunwiddie C T, et al. 2010, How to improve R&D productivity: the pharmaceutical industry’s grand challenge. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, vol.9: 203–214.

Herper M, 2011, A decade in drug industry layoffs, Forbes, viewed June 10, 2016,

Kontis V, Mathers C D, Rehm J, et al. 2014, Contribution of six risk factors to achieving the 25×25 non-communicable disease mortality reduction target: a modeling study. The Lancet, vol.384(9941): 427–437.

Nilsson T, 2010, When Sweden Sold the Nobel Prize Industry: The Story of Astra, Pharmacia and Kabi. Stockholm: SNS Förlag, Swedish.

Kola I and Landis J, 2004, Can the pharmaceutical industry reduce attrition rates? Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, vol.3: 711–715.

Schuster D, Lagger C and Langer T, 2005, Why drugs fail — a study on side effects in new chemical entities. Current Pharmaceutical Design, vol.11(27): 3545–3559.

Holland R L, 2016, What makes a good biomarker? Advances in Precision Medicine, vol.1(1): 4–11.

(1044 Abstract Views, 924 PDF Downloads)


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 Björn Wallmark

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.




Advances in Precision Medicine is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal. All journal content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.