Redefining Innovation : Embracing the 80-80 Rule to Ignite Growth in the Biopharmaceutical Industry book cover
1st Edition

Redefining Innovation
Embracing the 80-80 Rule to Ignite Growth in the Biopharmaceutical Industry

ISBN 9781138581043
Published May 24, 2018 by Productivity Press
190 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Most people marvel at the level of innovation demonstrated by the biopharmaceutical industry in bringing new products to the market – especially in the past 20 years. However, there is a crisis looming in the industry that should be a concern to all of us who take for granted the constant pace at which new treatments, and increasingly cures, have emerged from the laboratories of current sector incumbents. In the book, we examine the evolution of the biopharmaceutical industry to understand how it became what we term a "unicorn industry" with a unique, US-centered business model that has led to multiple blockbuster products (aka, unicorns) year after year. We explore how past success has created perceived barriers to innovation diversification beyond the chemical or biological-based biopharmaceutical product, and highlight the warning signs of the industry’s decline. We define a potential pathway for transforming the industry’s business model by broadening the definition, sources, and enablers of innovation beyond the traditional biopharmaceutical product. We introduce and advocate for the 80-80 Rule - "Being 80% confident that you will only be 80% right the first time should feel normal." The 80-80 Rule is a theme that emphasizes speed and willingness to embrace uncertainty and overcome internal barriers to change. It sets the standard for redefining innovation as a platform to reignite growth of the biopharmaceutical industry.

Table of Contents


Setting the Context




The 80-80 Rule


1 Rise of a Unicorn Industry

2 The Unicorn Industry Loses Its Wings

3 An Experiment in Challenging the Status Quo

4 Innovation Redefined

5 Next-Generation Unicorn Industry


6 Applying "The 80-80 Rule"

7 Setting Up for Success

8 Finding White Spaces

9 Developing New Ventures

10 Becoming Adept at Partnering

11 Afterword


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Ruchin Kansal

Medical Marketing & Media recognized Ruchin with a Top 40 Healthcare Transformers Award in 2016. According to the judges, "You can probably count on one hand the number of top-level pharma execs with an academic background in architecture. Yet listening to Kansal talk about his role at BI—and in particular, about his progressive approach to effecting change within the digital and customer-relationship realms—you start to wonder if the creative, open-minded architect mindset may be a perfect fit for circa-2016 healthcare."

Ruchin is the Managing Director of Kansal & Co, a think tank focused on innovation, consulting and new ventures in the healthcare industry. As a health industry executive and advisor, Ruchin has experience in developing growth strategies, launching new ventures, building digital health products and businesses, incubating strategic partnerships, igniting innovation and leading transformation within large corporations. He established and led the first Business Innovation division at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. In this role, he was responsible for setting and managing a company-wide growth-focused innovation agenda, establishing the company’s Digital Health team and commercially launching the first smart inhaler, building ecosystem collaborations with customers to co-create health solutions and competitive advantage, and driving culture change. Prior, as a C-level management consultant, he served Fortune 100 healthcare organizations in the U.S., Japan, the EU, and India. This experience provided him with a strong understanding of the healthcare ecosystem and its business transactions.

In his early years, he trained as an architect and developed a strong foundation in the principles of design thinking and user-centered design. In his graduate work completed in 1997 when the internet was still in its infancy, he proposed the concept of a cybernetic agora – a hybrid physical/virtual space for public discourse – as a basis for digital ventures of today.

Ruchin has served on the Board of Stanford Medicine X and invited to the White House OSTP to share ideas on engaging participants as partners in research. He received his MBA from NYU-Stern, master’s degree from Kansas State University, and bachelor’s degree from IIT, Roorkee, India. He has completed leadership training at Duke University and Kunshan University, China.

Jeff Huth

With over 35 years in the biopharmaceutical industry in a broad range of roles from pre-clinical research to marketing and sales management in the U.S. and EU, Jeff has seen it all. He has personally witnessed the pharmaceutical industry go from one held in high regard by the public and customers and the darling of Wall Street, to one that increasingly is portrayed as a villain and misses financial targets.

At Boehringer Ingelheim, Jeff held leadership roles including Sr. VP and Head of the Primary Care Business Unit, Sr. VP of Market Access and Sr. VP of Marketing. He was asked by the U.S. CEO and Corporate Board to lead the most extensive transformation initiative undertaken across the entire U.S. company including the adoption of a new commercial model. This experience re-enforced the massive change in environment and market dynamics being faced by today's biopharmaceutical industry and highlighted the need for a new way of defining what it takes to succeed.

Jeff was Boehringer Ingelheim’s long time representative to the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC), and Board Chairman in 2014. In this capacity, he was able to help shape the industry's thinking about Evidence-Based Medicine and the need to demonstrate value more broadly.

After retirement from Boehringer Ingelheim, Jeff spends his time advising clients in the biopharmaceutical industry with a focus on market access and commercial model transformation.

Jeff has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biological Sciences supplemented by Executive Development programs at Ashridge, INSEAD, and the University of Michigan.

Jeff can be contacted at [email protected] for any questions or to discuss speaking engagements.


"The biopharmaceutical industry, in general, has lagged behind in embracing the potential of rapidly evolving healthcare technology. To remain relevant, it needs to redefine its role and value proposition in the broader healthcare ecosystem. Redefining Innovation challenges conventional wisdom in which the traditional focus has been on the creation and launch of blockbuster drugs. The new focus can and should be around how digital health solutions may be applied in conjunction with medications to optimize care delivery and improve health outcomes." - David Rhew, M.D. Chief Medical Officer and Head of Healthcare and Fitness, Samsung Electronics America.

"The authors make a strong case in describing the difficulties faced by many biopharmaceutical companies in re-defining their Innovation Agenda which today is almost exclusively focused on developing and commercializing products. Their perspective on broadening the way incumbents approach innovation will be a great gap-filler."– Marcus Wilson, President, HealthCore  

"The 80-80 Rule creates urgency for Senior Leadership to redefine, communicate and champion their organization’s Innovation Agenda." – William Fleming, President, Healthcare Services, Humana

"Given the nature and magnitude of the challenges ahead of us in truly improving healthcare in the U.S., we need less fragmentation and more collaboration and partnering. Messrs. Kansal and Huth have described this opportunity based on their personal experience in setting up cross-functional collaborations across the ecosystem." - Dr. David Feinberg. President and Chief Executive Officer, Geisinger

"Overall I find this book to be a refreshing perspective from biopharma insiders that are trying to help their industry sector renew its business.  It will be a great platform for meaningful dialog around the future of healthcare and the role that the biopharma industry will play." - Ed Yu. Chairman, Vascular Cures and Retired Partner, Strategy & (PwC)

"Redefining Innovation puts forth a compelling argument about why the standard operating procedures of the past will not provide a sustainable pathway to future success. The 80-80 Rule serves as a blueprint which can be applied beyond the biopharma industry and should be taken seriously by all sectors within healthcare as well as other industries clinging to past glory." - Dr. Z. Colette Edwards, Managing Editor of the Wharton Healthcare Quarterly, the journal of the Wharton Health Care Management Alumni Association

"Over the past few years, I have seen a gradual increase in the willingness of biopharma leaders to engage in exploring new types of relationships with health systems. We are discussing collaborative projects to ensure adequate representation of diverse populations in clinical trials, outcomes-based reimbursement models, and health improvement opportunities beyond the pharmaceutical product. Success with these initiatives support the authors’ recommendations for biopharmaceutical manufacturers to examine and transform both their historical approach to innovation and current business model." - Michael J Dowling, President and CEO Northwell Health

"The authors challenge the mainstream biopharmaceutical industry to consider whether recent gaps relative to its historical track record of success may require a broader definition of innovation. At the same time, I am very encouraged by the opportunity for companies engaged in breakthrough science and technology coupled with innovation in the areas of pricing, reimbursement and market access models to treat and potentially cure serious and life-threatening conditions, where limited therapeutic options have existed to date." - Joseph La Barge, Chief Legal Officer - Spark Therapeutics