Schrödinger’s pipeline and the outsourcing of pharmaceutical innovation

Peter McMeekin, Dennis W. Lendrem, B. Clare Lendrem, Arthur G. Pratt, Richard Peck, John Dudley Isaacs, David Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis (2007–2008) cheaper, softer money flooded the worldwide markets. Faced with historically low capital costs, the pharmaceutical industry chose to pay down debt through share buybacks rather than invest in research and development (R&D). Instead, the industry explored new R&D models for open innovation, such as open-sourcing, crowd-sourcing, public–private partnerships, innovation centres, Science Parks, and the wholesale outsourcing of pharmaceutical R&D. However, economic Greater Fool Theory suggests that outsourcing R&D was never likely to increase innovation. Ten years on, the period of cheaper and softer money is coming to an end. So how are things looking? And what happens next?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-484
Number of pages5
JournalDrug Discovery Today
Issue number3
Early online date10 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


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