Pharmaceutical Institute, in Collaboration With Campbell Alliance, Releases Second Edition of Breakthrough Book on the Inner Workings of the Pharmaceutical Industry

July 8, 2008


Pharmaceutical Institute, a subsidiary of Campbell Alliance, the leading management consulting firm specializing in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, today announced the release of a revised edition of Understanding Pharma, updated to reflect a dynamic market environment and offering key new insights on how pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies work.  


The new edition of Understanding Pharma analyzes nine key functional areas within a typical company and explains how they work together to discover, develop, and commercialize drugs.  This second edition represents a significant expansion of the original book including:


  • Over 40 additional pages
  • New chapter on Medical Affairs
  • New content related to the distinctive issues and requirements surrounding biopharmaceuticals
  • Significant updates to the Managed Markets and Trade and Distribution chapters

·         Revised data points throughout to maintain currency


In writing Understanding Pharma, Campbell Alliance CEO John Campbell drew on nearly 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, including senior roles at GlaxoWellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline), prior to founding Campbell Alliance in 1997. 


“From my experience, the most effective teams have a comprehensive cross-functional understanding of the industry, particularly in regard to how each functional area’s work is integral to the success of the entire organization,” stated Mr. Campbell.  “Maintaining this mentality is essential to improving collaboration and efficiency throughout any organization.”


Understanding Pharma, originally published by Pharmaceutical Institute in 2005, was the first book to systematically explain how the typical pharmaceutical company operates, function by function.  The book and nine-module e-course series have been incorporated into the professional development programs of numerous leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well as curricula for students in many prestigious MBA programs who are preparing for careers in the industry.  Thousands of copies of the first edition have been sold, and multiple printings have sold out.


“Understanding Pharma provides a practical perspective on the full range of functional areas within a pharmaceutical or biotech company, while showing how all of the parts of this complex enterprise work together and influence one another,” said Dan Blue, Executive Director of Pharmaceutical Institute.  “The book is designed to serve as an excellent resource for anyone working within or around the pharmaceutical industry, including industry veterans, newcomers, students, journalists, consultants, and scientists.  It really offers a comprehensive overview of the industry as a whole and how these companies work.” 


Of the revised edition’s 12 chapters, nine are devoted to individual functional areas: Discovery, Drug Development, Medical Affairs, Business Development, Marketing, Sales, Managed Markets, Manufacturing Operations, and Trade and Distribution.  Each chapter describes the function’s basic responsibilities and its importance to the larger organization; provides details on key tasks, processes, and activities; discusses how the function is typically organized; and describes any supporting functions normally associated with it. 


For example,


§         Discovery covers milestones in the discovery process, as well as new discovery methods.

§         Drug Development charts the progression from preclinical through clinical development and FDA approval.

§         Medical Affairs provides details on effectively communicating the science behind innovative products.

§         Business Development explains the considerations and activities involved in the in-licensing of products to build a company’s pipeline.

§         Marketing outlines this commercial function’s role across the commercial life cycle, from pre-launch through patent expiration and beyond.

§         Sales describes how sales representatives are trained and compensated, how they prepare for and execute sales calls, the diverse ways a sales organization can be organized, and the purpose and process of prescriber segmentation.

§         Managed Markets provides an overview of payers, health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, hospitals and other healthcare providers, describing how pharma and biotech companies develop strategies to attain desired product positioning from the most important of these accounts.

§         Manufacturing Operations explains the complex, highly regulated processes involved in making a drug product for clinical trials and scaling it up for commercial use.

§         Trade and Distribution offers an overview of the journey that products take from manufacturing sites to the consumer.

Additional chapters in the book include


§         Introduction to the Industry:  Provides a historical overview of pharmaceutical innovation, dating back to the 1800s; compares traditional pharma companies with biotech companies; and examines the private and governmental regulatory framework circumscribing industry practices

§         What Is a Drug?:  Examines the definitions of drugs and biologics, as well as addressing key concepts such as active pharmaceutical ingredients, mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug categories, and indications

§         Pharma and Biotech Customers:  Profiles the three leading “demand drivers” in the industry—prescribers, payers and health plans, and patients


Understanding Pharma, Second Edition, also contains a useful appendix on the make-up of the pharma industry’s corporate infrastructure, including finance, human resources, information technology, and legal departments.


Understanding Pharma, Second Edition, is a must-read for anyone in the pharma industry—those new to the industry, industry veterans, and those serving the industry.  The book is available for $99.95 through Pharmaceutical Institute.  For more information or to purchase the book, please visit





About Pharmaceutical Institute


Pharmaceutical Institute, based in Raleigh, NC, is the leading provider of specialized knowledge for pharma and biotech professionals.  The company offers clients comprehensive e-learning training solutions, including an extensive catalog of e-courses and custom course development services.  Additionally, Pharmaceutical Institute has one of the largest online catalogs of industry-related books and syndicated market research reports from leading publishers.  This extensive library, combined with a team of research professionals and librarians, provides clients with a convenient one-stop source for pharmaceutical and biotech market intelligence.  Pharmaceutical Institute’s clients include numerous leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well as companies that support the industry.     


Pharmaceutical Institute was created by Campbell Alliance, the leading management consulting firm specializing in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.  Campbell Alliance provides resources and expertise to maximize Pharmaceutical Institute’s effectiveness in providing research and educational services to its clientele.


For more information, please visit 


About Campbell Alliance

Campbell Alliance is the leading management consulting firm specializing in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.  The firm's clients include most of the world's top-20 pharmaceutical companies, as well as numerous emerging and midsize firms.  Campbell Alliance is organized into practice areas, each specializing in a critical industry function, including Brand Management, Business Development, Clinical Development, Managed Markets, Sales, and Trade and Distribution.  From its locations in Raleigh, Parsippany, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, and London, the firm serves clients throughout North America, Europe, and Japan.  For more information on Campbell Alliance, please visit

inVentiv Health Consulting offers world class healthcare consulting services.

Media Contact:

Stephanie Koenig