Monday, March 11, 2013

Different Listening: Eli Lilly Upends Clinical Research

How Open Innovation and a Long Tail Could Save Clinical Research
By Marc Dresner, IIR USA

Tom Krohn says clinical research is broken, and he aims to fix it.

Ely Lilly’s Director of Clinical Open Innovation insists the traditional model is unsustainable—too expensive, too time-consuming, not nimble enough…

It’s difficult to deny that pharma R&D has a productivity problem, and Krohn claims a significant share of the problems facing clinical today stem from frame of reference—we're not accounting for the perspectives of patients, clinicians and potential contributors who don't typically participate in the process.

Thomas Krohn
Krohn’s solution—his passion—is to “leverage the talents of the marginalized of society” in order to reframe the way we think about and execute clinical studies to exploit opportunities that may not have occurred to anyone who may be stuck in a conventional mindset.

He’s not proposing some scientific sacrifice or other tradeoff; rather, Krohn believes we may improve operational outcomes by looking outside the system for inspiration.

“Innovation most typically happens on the margins of systems,” said Krohn. “So, our best bet is to adopt a fresh frame of reference, which starts outside the system. We adjust the model from the outside in.”

In this exclusive podcast interview with Inside Clinical, we’ll explore:
• Transitioning from a closed to an open clinical research model
• The importance of listening differently and the untapped potential of the marginalized and disenfranchised
• Lessons learned from sub-Saharan Africa and their implications for global pharma research and more.

Editor’s note: Tom Krohn will be presenting a case study on Eli Lilly’s open innovation initiative at the 22nd annual Partnerships in Clinical Trials conference running April 21st thru the 24th in Orlando.

For more information, please visit and download our brochure.

Register today and mention code XP1806BLOG to save 10% off the current rate!

Marc Dresner is IIR USA's senior editor and special communication projects lead. He is the former executive editor of Pharma Market Research Report, a confidential newsletter for marketing researchers in the pharmaceutical industry. He may be reached at Follow him @mdrezz.

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