August 10, 2005
Historically, the big pharmaceutical companies (Big Pharma) have sought to feed their marketing machines by manufacturing blockbuster drugs—chemical-based, one-type-fits-all products that treat chronic conditions such as heart disease or arthritis. This approach has yielded recurring revenue streams from large patient populations. In contrast, biotechnology companies typically have created protein-based drugs,or biologics, to treat acute or niche conditions and diseases. With few exceptions (such as the biotech giant Amgen), biotech companies have foregone doing the marketing and sales of their drugs themselves, and have, instead, relied on others to perform their marketing and sales functions.