How can I create added-value ?

Increasingly, value lies beyond the product. How to create added value is a difficult question you need to answer.

How pharma and medtech firms are adapting to a value-driven market is an important part of my research. I focus on the processes that firms use to identify accessible value and to develop differentiated, profitable services.

I complement my research with tailored research projects and counselling executives, helping them to understand the nature of added-value and how it can be released by their firm.

If you would like to create value beyond your products, please contact me.

How can I demonstrate value ?

Success is synonymous with demonstrating value. Market access and customer preference is a critical issue for you.

How firms demonstrate value is an important part of my research into how the life science industry is evolving. My work reveals the detail of these capabilities, how they are acquired how they are implemented across functional boundaries.

I complement my research by working with senior executives, marketers and market access teams, using workshops or coaching to help them understand and develop their value-demonstration capability.

If you would like to better demonstrate the value you create, please contact me.

What are my strategic options ? 

Leadership is about decisions. Identifying, evaluating and choosing alternatives is your job.

My research examines the strategic alternatives facing pharma, medtech and other life science companies. I combine my industry experience and academic research to explore what opportunities exist and which make commercial sense.

I also use this research to constructively challenge industry leaders on their ideas for the future, either through commissioned research projects or in one-to-one coaching meetings.

If you would like to explore and test your strategic options, please contact me.

How can I strengthen my team ?

Nothing happens without an effective team. Assessing and building the capabilities of your team is one of your essential tasks as a leader.

What makes teams effective is a fundamental strand of my work into how pharma and medtech companies compete in our evolving market. My work focuses on how management processes either hinder or help cross-functional working.

I complement my research by counselling senior executives in the design, development and management cross-functional teams.

If you would like to strengthen your team, please contact me.

How are pharma & medtech markets evolving ?

Our market is transforming. How to adapt to that change is the biggest question you face.

I spend my life answering this question, gathering data about the evolution of our market and creating actionable insight. I research how social and technological change is driving the emergence of new business models in pharma and medtech.

I complement my academic research with leadership seminars, conference addresses and focussed “deep dives” that address specific questions about where this market is headed.

If you would like to better understand where your market is headed and what that means to you, please contact me.

How can I implement better ?

Without implementation, strategy is just a fantasy. Ensuring that strategic decisions are enacted is what leaders are paid to do.

How pharma and medtech firms implement is a pivotal part of my research into our industry’s evolution. My interest is in how leadership and process design can reduce internal politics and self-interest and refocus the organisation onto single-minded execution.

I complement my research by working with business leaders, either one-to-one or with their teams, to help them tighten and focus their implementation process. 

If you would like to implement more effectively, please contact me.

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About Pragmedic

Thanks for your interest.

Pragmedic is my company; I will design and execute all of the work we do together. For projects that require specialised knowledge, I may call on other exceptionally qualified academics. But I’ll always be the one who makes sure that you get a good outcome.

The following short bio will help you see how I’m qualified to help you but, if you’re impatient, skip down to How I can help you.

A Lifetime in Life Sciences

I’ve spent my entire working life in our industry. I began in 1978 as a fresh-faced research chemist for Sterling Winthrop (now part of Sanofi). For 20 years, I worked in R&D and Marketing for several global pharma and medtech companies. By 1998, I was a Head of Marketing for Boehringer Mannheim and, when Roche acquired the company, I decided to scratch an itch I’d had since my days at the bench.

Executive Turned Academic

FOP Fitness for LandscapeMy insatiable, scientific curiosity is what led me into R&D and, as I climbed the management ladder, I became interested in the science of how firms compete. Voraciously reading strategic management research, I found that it wasn’t always relevant to pharma and medtech companies. So I decided to make that my life’s work. I did a PhD on strategy effectiveness in the life science industry and, since then, I’ve researched various aspects of how those companies create competitive advantage. I’ve become especially interested in how our industry is evolving the competitive capabilities needed when technology is racing ahead and value is defined as much by payers as by physicians. I do this research at two great universities – SDA Bocconi in Milan, Italy and the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. I also supervise a group of PhD candidates, whose research similarly looks at aspects of our industry’s evolution. Those who know me best call me a complete geek about the subject.

Real World Advice

My research has real-world goals: to help the world’s most important industry adapt to the future, so that more people live longer, healthier lives. That means disseminating my research in peer-reviewed journals and industry publications, in books and at industry conferences. A significant part of my time is spent working directly with life science companies as an advisor and counsellor. Over the years, I’ve helped most of the big and many of the smaller companies in our industry.

You can see recommendations of my work here on my LinkedIn page

How I can help you

Professor Brian D Smith LecturingYou can get an idea about what I can help with by clicking on the thought bubbles on the home page, but you should also understand how I will work with you. This is based on three principles:

  • Scientific: I immerse myself in the research literature and collect evidence about how life science companies are evolving. So my advice is always based on rigorous, relevant research.
  • Pragmatic: I’m fanatical about the application of management science to real-world practice. So my work with you will always be directed towards a specific, actionable and profitable outcome.
  • Individual: I’ve learnt that every case is different and needs its own solution. So I personally manage every project to understand your situation and to achieve your particular goals.



If you would like to have a conversation with me about how you can compete more strongly in our evolving market, contact me. I’ll be delighted to listen to you.


Signed - Professor Brian D Smith




Professor Brian D Smith


I’ve written several books, with more on the way. They’re all available via your local Amazon or, if you prefer, you can browse and request shorter PDFs from my free library.

Leadership in the Life Sciences

10 Lessons from the C-Suite of Pharmaceutical and Medical Technology Companies

Leadership in the Life Sciences written by Professor Brian D Smith
This book is based on interviews personally carried out with more than 20 CEOs from companies including Novo Nordisk, Novartis, B.Braun and Smith & Nephew. It is built on academic research and written as 10 short chapters, designed for people who don’t have much time to read. Leadership in the Life Sciences identifies what makes leadership in this industry different from others and summarises what these industry leaders have learned over their cumulative 700 years of experience in pharma and medtech companies.

You can see its excellent reviews and order a copy from Amazon.

Brand Therapy

Braand Therapy written by Professor Brian D SmithThis book is a practical, “How To” manual for brand teams in pharma, medtech and other life science industries. It describes an end-to-end process of 15 techniques for understanding your market, creating strong strategies and translating them in effective action plans.

You can see its excellent reviews and order a copy from Amazon.

Darwin's Medicine

Darwin's Medicine written by Professor Brian D SmithThe sequel to The Future of Pharma, this book goes deeper into the drivers of industry change and how leading pharmaceutical and medical technology companies are adapting. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the industry's complex, changing landscape, this is an invaluable guide to firms seeking to survive and thrive in this dynamic market.

You can see its excellent reviews and order a copy from Amazon


The Future of Pharma: Evolutionary threats and opportunities


The Future of Pharma written by Professor Brian D SmithBased on years of research and interviews with industry leaders, The Future of Pharma is written for industry executives who need to understand where the industry is headed and how they can adapt to that future.

You can see its excellent reviews and order a copy from Amazon

Marketing and Finance: Creating shareholder value


Marketing Due Diligence written by Professor Brian D SmithWritten with two of the world’s leading authorities on marketing strategy and finance, Marketing and Finance explains the process of Marketing Due Diligence. It is written for those who need to assess the strength of marketing strategies.

You can see its excellent reviews and order a copy from Amazon

Creating Market Insight: How firms create value from market understanding


Creating Market Insight written by Professor Brian D SmithBased on a three-year study into how firms translate data and information into knowledge, insight and competitive advantage, Creating Market Insight is written for those who gather, analyse and use business intelligence.

You can see its excellent reviews and order a copy from Amazon

Making Marketing Happen: How great companies make strategic planning work


Making Marketing Happen written by Professor Brian D SmithThe result of an extensive research programme into why some firms make strong marketing strategies and others don’t, Making Marketing Happen is written for those who want to be best-in-class at strategic marketing planning.

You can see its excellent reviews and order a copy from Amazon


Free Library

I’ve published over 300 articles and papers that summarise my research for executives in the pharma, medtech and other life science industries. They are all listed here and you are welcome to browse and to request a free PDF. Or, if you have an interest in a particular topic and don’t have time to browse, just contact me and I’ll select the most relevant papers for you.

Malthus' orphans

June, 2018

Firms focusing on small, high-profit niches risk falling into a 200-year-old trap.


The Genetically Modified Marketer

June, 2018

The turbulent confluence of technological and sociological change means that it is impossible to step into the same market twice. Marketers must also change and adapt to the shifting demands of the market. Yet, as much research has demonstrated, meaningful organisational change is hard to do are rare in practice.


Getting the sizing right

May, 2018

Merger and acquisition activity in the life sciences industry can learn from the natural world. This article explains why the key to success is being both bigger and different.


Segmentation, evolved

April, 2018

Evolutionary adaptations are a response to market selection pressures, as seen by Sanofi’s Praluent strategy.


The valuable brand

March, 2018

The pressures of the 21st century market are slowly driving the adaptation of brand strategy, which means that creating value beyond the pill is both
possible and increasingly necessary.


The evolution of brand strategy

March, 2018

As our market has evolved into one where payers and patients shape decisions, the nature of brand strategy has adapted to that new environment. This article, describes
the newly emerging characteristics of brand strategy and how it can guide your own strategic planning.


Digital shakeout

March, 2018

Recent announcements by Nokia, Roche and others point to where digital health is heading. Whether their business models will survive or become extinct depends on how well they adapt to the Information Shift.


The Secret of Success

February, 2018

It is becoming clear that success in pharma is associated with specialisation, but what is the mechanism by which it works?


2018 by Darwin

January, 2018

Our industry’s evolution can’t be predicted, but it can be foreseen, says Brian D Smith in this look at the industry trends emerging in 2018.


The New Basics

December, 2017

Why innovative products and creative marketing won't help if our industry fails to address the new basics.


Amazon's invasion

December, 2017

It's no good being alarmed about Amazon entering the pharma market as a new channel. The organisation is incredibly competitive; and the disruption it has caused in every market it has touched is a business phenomenon. It would be naive to discount the threat of Amazon - strategists in the life science sector need to understand and address the implications of Amazon’s entry.


The Great Schism

November, 2017

While recent approval by the FDA of Novartis’ new Kymriah gene therapy for leukaemia is undoubtedly cause for celebration, evolution suggests that such technological advance might also be the herald of further increasing social inequality.


Pharma's Coral Reef

October, 2017

A comparison of the life science industry past and present reveals that holobionts are now the principal form of competitor, while the fully integrated, self-sufficient company is becoming a rarity. This article identifies three important things that executives ought to reflect on when tasked with adapting their organisations to a different world.


Breathing Data

October, 2017

Amidst announcements and industry gossip about how companies such as Apple and Google are planning to upend the life science industry by their use of data, Novartis’s new CEO designate, Vas Narasimham, stressed the use of AI and data to revolutionise research and development productivity. This has strong parallels with evolutionary biology and, as reader's of my work will know, it confirms what I’ve been predicting: in a world where data is pervasive, learning to use data at scale and in an integrated, bidirectional manner is essential for survival.


Life Lessons

October, 2017

Generics were once an unstoppable behemoth, threatening to dominate the industry as they sucked up market share. But their model seems to be fading. In this low-cost, non-innovative habitat, existing giants are being out-evolved by a combination of more specialised business models.


Life Story

September, 2017

Product Life Cycle (PLC) is a familiar tool to experienced executives in pharma or medtech. It’s often assumed to be synonymous with line extension tactics, for defending against me-toos and generics. But the concept is much more useful. This article, explains the origins of this strategic management tool and shows how it can be essential to optimising the value of a brand.


The co-evolution conundrum

July, 2017

Uptake of innovative products is not just a sales or marketing problem but a lesson in co-evolution. Recognising that both sides need to adapt is crucial to understanding why the innovative companies and their customers must evolve together.


Living in fear

July, 2017

Many industry leaders seem to live in existential fear, that they may not know, or not understanding the significance of, something that would render their strategic choices flawed. This article discusses how an evolutionary perspective can reduce that risk.


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Dr Brian D Smith
6 Whetstone Close
Hertfordshire AL6 0QW
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1438 712 441
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