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.

The Adaptation Puzzle

January, 2014

 With so may attempts failing, isn't it time you restructured your approach to change management?


Rising to the Challenge

December, 2013

The medtech industry is a constant battle between established firms and emerging rivals. What do these battles tell us about strategies for maintaining or overturning an entrenched market position? Professor Brian D Smith's research into the industry's evolution points to three key themes and highlights companies from whom lessons can be learnt. 


Capturing an elusive phenomenon: developing and testing a multiple perspective model of marketing strategy implementation

September, 2013

This paper reports on a survey of executives in pharmaceutical and medical technology companies concerning strategy implementation. It finds that the written strategy is not always implemented and that the reasons for this include both intra-organisational conflict and individual self-interest.


Breaking Free From Medtech's Iron Cage

August, 2013

Adapting to changes in the market environment is critical to the survival of any organisation. So, why do so many medtech companies find it particularly challenging to implement strategic change in order to adapt? Professor Brian Smith's research reveals hidden barriers to managing change and finds out from successful change-managers their secret to overcoming them.


Modern Values

July, 2013

 Understanding the new concepts and processes of value will be the first steps towards adapting to a new healthcare environment.


New Tribes: The Shape of Medtech to Come

June, 2013

Brian D Smith looks at the emergence of new structures in the medical technology sector.


Emerging Models

April, 2013

When thinking about the evolution of the pharma industry, it’s easy to think in terms of struggles between incumbent dinosaurs and emerging new business models with a ‘survival of the fittest’ conclusion. But this is to take too simplistic a view of the complex adaptive system that is our industry. Increasingly, our research suggests a more sophisticated description for the sector’s development, with important implications for leadership and strategy.


The Future of Pharma? Speciation, Sex and Death

April, 2013

Having published a 3-year research project and an 80,000 word book on the subject, I am often asked, by pharma executives too impatient to read the whole story, “So, in a nutshell, what is the future of Pharma?” Hiding my amusement that such a huge subject can be compressed into a sound bite, my usual reply is: “Speciation, sex and death”. Of course, my slightly flippant answer begets a puzzled look so, if you have the patience, here is a slightly fuller version.


The role of product life cycle in medical technology innovation

March, 2013

Based on a review of both general and context specific literature in this field, this paper finds that medical technology innovation is strongly influenced by life cycle effects, particularly with respect to price erosion. It also finds that our general understanding of product life cycle indicates that individual curves are strongly influenced by supply side constraints, such as patent protection and barriers to entry, and demand side factors, such as market heterogeneity and diffusion mechanisms. This has important social and economic implications for access to improved therapies, healthcare spending and investment in innovation.


Fitness First

February, 2013

As the market changes, existing capabilities become useless and new ones become essential. Professor Brian D Smith describes how pharma companies become fit for the future


Megatrends that will impact the future of medtech

December, 2012

The medical technology sector is being reshaped by fundamental changes that will destroy old business models and demand new capabilities.


Excellence in market access strategy: A research-based definition and diagnostic tool

December, 2012

Market access strategy is a pressing and important issue for almost all pharmaceutical and medical technology companies. Yet the content of market access strategy is poorly defined and is often confused with process, objective and operational activity. Further, little is known about the differences between strong and weak market access strategies. Based on four in-depth case studies, this article proposes a tested definition of what market access strategy is. It identifies nine factors that characterise the strength of any market access strategy and proposes a graduated scale for those nine factors that enables the objective assessment of the strength of market access strategies prior to execution.


Access all areas

November, 2012

Market Access is a major issue facing innovative medical technology companies. In this article, Professor Brian D Smith reveals the characteristics that differentiate strong market access strategies from the weak ones.


Testing Times

October, 2012

Most medtech firms find the annual business plan review an unsatisfactory process. Research into the few who do find the process beneficial reveals three valuable lessons.


Superior segmentation

April, 2012

As patients and payers join in the prescribing decision, the industry needs new models of definition.


Lifecycle management

March, 2012

Product life cycle is a concept that is so familiar that we barely think about it; but at a time when business growth is harder than ever, understanding how this idea applies in medical technology markets is essential to a product's return on investment.


JMM Research Watch Volume 12.1

February, 2012

This review of published papers covers the big trends in medical markets, from health economics to innovation and emerging markets.


Two Tribes

February, 2012

Among the cultural similarities that are shared by every pharmaceutical company is the tribalism of sales and marketing. Longstanding methods to try to bridge the divide have failed, so now it is time to look at new solutions.


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

Tel: +44 (0)1438 712 441
Fax: +44 (0)1438 712 442
Mobile: +44 (0)7970 829 764

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