Keith Plumb - South East England
Having spent more than 30 years working in the pharmaceutical industry I could relate to much of Hedley says in the book.
The book is very easy to read and follow and the expert opinion that it contains shows that it is not just Hedley's views that are being presented. Inevitably this is a bit of a campaigning book but it is campaign to is very necessary.
His suggested way forward is still very much work in progress but I was sufficiently inspired by the book to contact Hedley to offer my help with his campaign.
The only negative comment I have is that the diagrams are not as good as they could have been.
Kelin Phillipson - Leicester
You'd be forgiven for thinking that the industry that holds our lives in it's hands, would be one of superior efficiency and precision. That could not be further from the truth! Whether you are a regular Joe Blogs or an innovative industry leader, this book will have your jaw on the floor the whole way through. However, better than that, it is not a book written to simply rile the reader and lay blame on those working hard within the pharmaceutical industry. It is absolutely jam packed full of expert collaborators insights, and offers a full explanation of how this nightmare came about, in additionl to offering the solutions that will save billions of dollars and countless lives!
Claddagh - Amazon
Thought provoking and easy to assimilate concepts. Provides some insight into what Pharma could look like in the future. Go on, you're worth it...
Mark Duman - Manchester
As a pharmacist, albeit one no longer in clinical practice, I’m embarrassed that my ‘profession’ gets paid for non-delivery. By that I mean that around 50% of people don’t take their medicines as prescribed. Broadly speaking, and based on a £14Bn annual medicines spend by the NHS, that equates to £7Bn worth of product not reaching their maximum potential. And that’s assuming that the outcomes claimed for medicines researched and valued through clinical trials are actually replicated in real life.
The same could be said of pharma. They too are currently paid for supply not outcomes. And that’s where I thought the waste issue ended.
That was until I read Hedley Rees’ “Find It. File It. Flog It”. Despite the tongue-in-cheek title and comparisons throughout to sausage-making, this book is a real gem. It’s a clarion call to all in pharma to wake up to current erroneous and overly expensive drug discovery process. It also highlights how pharma has outsourced so much of its expertise it’s at risk of not having any expertise anymore. But more than identify the problems, it also, with testimonies from expert witnesses, outlines how pharma can solve the issues.
I’d like to see a formal response – and even a debate – to the issues raised in Hedley’s book. Not only from those in industry but also from those in trade associations such as the ABPI, EFPIA & PhRMA also regulators. Especially in this time of financial authority.
Charles MacKay - Stockport
First rate review of the current business model and its weaknesses by Hedley Rees. I read it from cover to cover in one day. Several anecdotes resonated with my own experience, and unsurprisingly the cure to present challenges and problems is largely in the industry's own hands. This makes fascinating reading, equally so with respect to the author's own observations and experience and the expert witness statements of his many industry contacts.
Paul Morris - Church Village, South Wales
That was a brilliant read and, although quite technical at times, it was totally understandable even for a non-scientist ex-HR director.
I ticked several of the boxes for possible readers. Investor – I still have AESOP shares, ex-Pharma employee, not in healthcare. And of course a patient – I am on statins and have been for probably 20+ years. BTW no side effects, not that I know of anyway!
The whole idea that there are cures out there which have effectively been stifled by the system/process epitomised by the need to maximise payback because of the requirements of the patenting laws. That is truly horrifying.
Maybe Brexit will be an opportunity to take advantage of the new light touch regulatory approach that the UK may adopt. But of course the problem is more global than UK-wide! Let’s hope that eventually the insertion of that little additional letter in patent will be achieved.
The metaphor of the Morgan family’s sausage making business was used to great effect by dipping in now and again to emphasise the regulatory parallels and pitfalls.
Dr Graham Cox - South East England
A 'must read' for all senior Pharma execs who want to turn around a troubled industry and regain some pride amongst the public.
ANON (name supplied) - United States
I was thinking about your book and the superb analysis of what is happening. These companies and investment groups don't care what they are into as long as they get major return on their dollars and what produces better returns than healthcare products; OTC, devices, diagnostics, drugs, biologics. It is rather disconcerting. I am so glad there is a small group of people like you willing to speak truth to power because, nowadays, it is all about the money.
Sarah M. Ryck - Greater Philadelphia Area
Mr. Rees, I'm currently reading Find It, File It, Flog It. I'm finding it to be a fantastic introduction to the industry as someone still relatively new to it all. Thanks for sharing your perspective!--Sarah
Amy Davies - Scottsdale, Arizona
A remarkably informative discussion of the history of pharmaceutical manufacturing that offers very wise, expert suggestions going forward
Kirkus Reviews - Austin TX, US
A searing indictment of “Big Pharma” offers specific recommendations for change.
British pharmaceutical industry consultant Rees (Supply Chain Management in the Drug Industry, 2011) takes aim at the fundamental manner in which drug companies do business in a book that calls for nothing less than a massive overhaul. Tracing big pharma’s emphasis on blockbuster drugs to an early 1980s marketing war between two stomach-ulcer drug brands, the author demonstrates that patents have continued to drive drug companies’ business strategies today. Their approach, Rees writes, has “involved finding a promising patented compound (Find It), placing it into a development pipeline intended for regulatory approval to market (File It), and then marketing the approved product with the utmost verve and vigor (Flog It).” The book delves into exactly how pharmaceutical companies operate (it is quite similar in Europe and the United States), exploring the inner workings of the industry via text and diagrams. One of the more remarkable aspects exposed is the fact that big pharma companies “have little or nothing to do with operations in the distribution network”; in fact, only three distributors in the United States control about 80 percent of the market. This, according to the author, is typical of big pharma: “Today, hardly anything hasn’t been outsourced to some extent.” Of larger consequence is the fact that the failure rate in drug development remains so high: “For every 250 compounds that enter the development pipeline, 249 fail to reach their destinations.” Unfortunately, the solution to this pervasive malaise is “to adopt a totally different approach toward product development,” Rees writes. This is perhaps where the greatest strength of this deft volume emerges. In addition to his own suggestions for change (including recommending that regulators require “companies to obtain licenses to develop drugs beyond the prototype phase” and “postmortems on all failed drugs to establish what went wrong”), the author makes extensive use of interviews he conducted with numerous professionals, offering their input as expert witness statements. This technique immediately legitimizes the author’s perspective and makes the book far more powerful than if it were written in his voice alone. This is not an empty diatribe—it is a necessary wake-up call for an industry apparently blinded by profit.
A thoroughly researched and considered industry critique that includes substantive, visionary ideas for rehabilitation.
Steve Winyard - Greater Philadelphia Area
Recently I had the pleasure to reconnect with @Hedley Rees. Prior to us catching up, I took the opportunity to buy his book' Find it File it Flog it'. I’m passionate about the industry, that I have worked in for many years from a Logistics perspective. To my colleagues old and new, I would stand by the recommendation to get a copy and take a read. Look at what is coming to the industry , serialization, regulatory changes and more important that it is ever changing and always challenging from a logistics standpoint. Hedley’s book will give you a unique insight to the industry - how it operates and what the issues are. Trust me it’s easy to read, not overly technical very understandable does not pull punches, but gives a positive view of the future - if the challenges are met and changes are made suitable for patients, investors, industry executives and professionals, regulators, healthcare professionals and other key stakeholders in the industry. For folk who know me and have heard me say “Say what you do then do what you say ” this is a read for you. Thanks for sharing your knowledge Hedley!
Philippa Haynes - Bristol
For those people who want to take charge of their health and understand more about the drugs prescribed. We all need to know just what the prescription means in order to have total control over our bodies
A searing account of an industry which has made some mistakes but an opportunity for us to understand the direct impact on our lives
This book raises many questions and brings insight which could be leveraged by many industries and not just #pharma. And it should. We see innovation and how it becomes mired in logistics and unhealthy partnerships. I for one can see this clearly
Hedley Rees is at the top of his game - smart, candid and with unparalleled energy to see #business do the right thing
Bill Maloney - England, UK
"This is an excellent book that really crystallises the core issues across the industry – a real eye opener, reaching out to experts across the pharma sector giving a well balanced take on the challenges ahead."
Alan Kennedy - South East Engalnd
(Also on Amazon.co.uk)
Hedley Rees doesn't mince his words and his message is clear : the pharma business is screwing patients and taxpayers. Big-time.
This is largely because Big Pharma is driven by investors whose principal role in life is to make mega-bucks. It turns put that saving lives and improving health is virtually a by-product of this dash-for-cash mentality which invariably puts profits before patients.
By perpetuating a drug-development system predicated around the patenting, and patent-banking, of medicinal molecules, the industry has managed to engineer itself a massively lucrative business model wifh minimal market accountability (The pharma industry is the world's most profitable business sector with profits even greater than banking and high tech).
According to Hedley Rees this profit-focused approach creates enormous waste, massively escalated drug costs and dreadfully poor therapeutic outcomes.
But Rees isnt here to simply whine about another rip-off industry. He offers credible solutions albeit ones that will require a wholesale shift in corporate culture and a huge industry re-focus away from patent-centricity to patient-centricity.