“I have always been fascinated by how differently people consider the value of a return on investment. Using two extremes, the pharmaceutical industry, where I have worked for over 20 years, invests millions of dollars into new product research and development, as you would expect, but in anticipation that only one in a hundred of these products is likely to be successful. The successful product, then returns a profit, as well as covering the cost of the research and development for all of the other products. Of course as individuals and mere mortals, we do not have the resources to make such highly geared investments into our own futures. Yet it still amazes me that many of my colleagues, family and friends, do not expect to have to invest anything in their futures. They are happy to try anything as long as it is free of any cost requirement and free of any time requirement. I firmly believe that you get just what you pay for in life and as such if you are prepared to invest nothing, you will achieve nothing. The smart answer is somewhere in the middle of these two extremes and should be determined by risk analysis. I am risk-averse by nature, but I still accept that risk is necessary. It cost me $45k for my MBA and $55k for my DBA and approximately 7 years of my life. I do not regret this investment of both time and money for a minute and am a much more capable and valuable person as a result of these investments. However, by comparison, I invested $15k and one year into the Appleton Greene CLP program, which I accept is a professional qualification, not an academic qualification, but as a result I have established a viable corporate training practice returning an annual income circa $350kpa. This represents a healthy ROI by any standards. If this does not qualify as a low-risk personal career investment, then I am not sure what would qualify.”

A quotation taken from a Learning Provider reference within the Pharmaceutical industry.

  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Akzo Nobel
  • Alcon
  • Allergan
  • Amgen
  • Astellas Pharma
  • AstraZeneca
  • Bausch & Lomb
  • Baxter International
  • Bayer
  • Biogen Idec
  • Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Cephalon
  • Chugai Pharmaceutical Co
  • CSL
  • Daiichi Sankyo
  • Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma
  • Eisai
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Forest Laboratories
  • Genentech
  • Genzyme
  • Gilead Sciences
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Lundbeck
  • Hoffmann–La Roche
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • King Pharmaceuticals
  • Kyowa Hakko
  • Merck & Co.
  • Merck KGaA
  • Mitsubishi Pharma
  • Mylan Laboratories
  • Novartis-Switzerland
  • Novo Nordisk
  • Nycomed
  • Pfizer
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Sanofi-Aventis
  • Shionogi
  • Shire
  • Solvay
  • Taiho Pharmaceutical Co
  • Takeda Pharmaceutical Co
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
  • UCB
  • Watson Pharmaceuticals

The pharmaceutical industry develops, produces, and markets drugs or pharmaceuticals licensed for use as medications. Pharmaceutical companies are allowed to deal in generic or brand medications and medical devices. They are subject to a variety of laws and regulations regarding the patenting, testing and ensuring safety and efficacy and marketing of drugs. Drug companies are like other companies in that they manufacture products that must be sold for a profit in order for the company to survive and grow. They are different from some companies because the drug business is very risky. For instance, only one out of every ten thousand discovered compounds actually becomes an approved drug for sale. Much expense is incurred in the early phases of development of compounds that will not become approved drugs. In addition, it takes about 7 to 10 years and only 3 out of every 20 approved drugs bring in sufficient revenue to cover their developmental costs, and only 1 out of every 3 approved drugs generates enough money to cover the development costs of previous failures. This means that for a drug company to survive, it needs to discover a blockbuster (billion-dollar drug) every few years. Industry-wide research and investment has reached a record $65.3 billion. While the cost of research in the U.S. is about $34.2 billion, revenues rose by $200.4 billion. A study by the consulting firm Bain & Company reported that the cost for discovering, developing and launching (which factored in marketing and other business expenses) a new drug (along with the prospective drugs that fail) rose over the last five years to nearly $1.7 billion. According to Forbes, development costs are between $4 billion to $11 billion per drug. The United States accounts for more than a third of the global pharmaceutical market, with $340 billion in annual sales followed by the EU and Japan. Emerging markets such as China, Russia, South Korea and Mexico outpaced that market, growing a huge 81 percent. According to IMS the global pharmaceutical industry is estimated at US$1.1 trillion.


“As an industry, we are used to investing heavily in long-term product development. We also accept that the majority of products which we develop in will never be produced. We accept that as long as a few products are commercially viable, then this will usually provide our organization with sufficient profit contribution for business sustainability. However, our investment in various Appleton Greene programs has in all cases provided a tangible return on investment. This is simply because they are all targeted towards improving business processes and any improvement, no matter how small, is instantly felt and appreciated.”

A quotation taken from a client reference within the Pharmaceutical industry.