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Powering Up for the Challenge

The typical consumer never gives a thought to the over-the-counter medication they purchase, nor to the prescription drug they sign their name for at the pharmacy – other than perhaps to give a rhetorical complaint about the price. In contrast, to any individual in the pharmaceutical industry, every bottle of pills, every jar of medicine and every tube of ointment represent a tremendous achievement; a victory for innovation, science, people, technology, investment and time.

That victory has been the result of a long battle. But today, the fight for new, truly differentiated medicines is getting fiercer. Fewer candidate drugs are being successfully developed. Development costs (getting a successful drug to market) have been climbing for years and now hover at around $1 billion – and that’s rising constantly, despite over 80 per cent of compounds not making it to market. In addition, drugs take eight or more years on average to proceed through the various stages of clinical trials.


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Janet Edwards is the Director of Global Clinical Outsourcing and Novel Delivery Options at AstraZeneca. She is responsible for setting overall strategy, defining new operating models for outsourcing, and ensuring operational delivery for all outsourced clinical work. Janet joined AstraZeneca in 2001 as Clinical Development Director for emerging oncology clinical project teams, then held a line management position. Prior to this, she served in a variety of project leadership and project and line management roles for several pharmaceutical companies and a CRO. Following her MBA, Janet worked as a management consultant delivering innovative business solutions on numerous projects along the pharmaceutical value chain to multiple clients. In addition to her MBA, she has a BSc degree and is a Chartered Member of CIPD.
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Janet Edwards
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