Executive Q and A: Andrew Lane

Emerging market trends and innovation in medicine: A Q and A session with Abbott's head of Established Pharmaceuticals.

Strategy and Strength|Oct.25, 2017

Abbott’s focus on healthcare is nearly 130 years strong, but our heritage in developing new medicines and expertise in building brands help us deliver trusted, high-quality medicine. Andrew Lane, executive vice president of Abbott’s established pharmaceuticals business, tells us more about this business and the trends he is seeing in emerging markets.

Executive Q and A with Andrew Lane

Since becoming the executive vice president of Established Pharmaceuticals, what have been some of the greatest accomplishments of your team?

I've been in the role six months, and it’s been a fantastic experience – the transition is the first accomplishment. We've taken on new initiatives and we’ve continued to drive the business faster than the markets where we operate while continuing to deliver the strong growth that we’ve had in the last few years.

What are some contributing factors to the recent EPD double-digit growth in emerging markets? Do you see this trend continuing?

Over the past few years, we have been purposely shaping our business to meet the trends we’re seeing across the world. For instance, we know there is a great need for quality, affordable medicine in emerging markets, and the dynamics are a perfect fit for our business. So, we've been molding and shaping our business to meet this need – and are now 100 percent focused on emerging markets.

We've also built our business to be driven locally and powered globally. We have the global scale that provides a solid base to remain competitive, particularly when it comes to manufacturing and innovation. But our local decision-making makes us nimble in fast-changing markets. Emerging markets are very complex and can be volatile, but because local decision-making is at the core of what we do and we are able to navigate this.

We've also created new ways of using existing medicines, new delivery methods, new dosage combinations, new indications, different flavors, enhanced packaging or digital solutions that improve patient adherence. We give people a reason to choose our medicines, and that's part of why we're experiencing consistent, exceptional growth.

We do see the trends in emerging markets continuing. Four of the world’s seven billion people live in emerging markets. That is a lot of people who want access to quality, affordable medicine.

What are some of the key therapeutic areas you are focusing on in the emerging markets?

We have a portfolio of more than 1,500 products across multiple therapeutic areas in emerging markets, including gastroenterology, women’s health, cardiometabolic, pain management/central nervous system, respiratory and influenza vaccines.

In terms of the acquisitions of CFR and Veropharm, how have the strategic moves helped reshape the EPD portfolio?

Our established pharmaceuticals business is a great example of how Abbott has deliberately shaped its businesses for long-term success. Beginning with the acquisition of Solvay and Piramal, we began positioning this business for above-market growth in some of the largest and fastest-growing pharmaceutical markets in the world. Our CFR and Veropharm acquisitions in Latin American and Russia further expanded our footprint making us a top-ten pharmaceutical company in Latin America and a top-five branded generics company in Russia. Last year, we expanded our commercial presence in Vietnam, which gives us a top-tier position Vietnam. All of these moves deliberately shape our business into a leading branded generics business.

What are some other consumer trends that are contributing to your growth?

In emerging markets, there is a shift from infectious to chronic diseases as populations are aging, urbanizing and changing their diets. More people will need support battling heart disease, pain, respiratory and diabetes. Who pays for medicine is also changing. Many emerging markets are looking to invest in healthcare and expand their coverage of some kind, whether that’s government support or encouraging private insurance. But, healthcare spending in emerging markets is still primarily out of pocket and this is going to continue to drive the market for branded medicines.

How does Abbott differentiate itself from competitors?

No one is doing what we're doing. Our model – which is a hybrid between proprietary pharma, generics and consumer models – is truly unique, and that's why we've been successful and will be moving forward. The needs of growing and aging populations are changing rapidly in emerging markets across the world, and we're looking at how to drive added value for our patients, including looking at the total healthcare spectrum. We're looking at product innovation, including new ways of using existing medicines, new delivery methods, new dosage combinations, new indications or digital solutions that make people's lives better. And, we're also introducing services beyond the pill – things like patient education and adherence programs that look at the patient's total journey, not just their medication.

For more information on medicines in emerging markets, check out these resources:

Why Branded Generics Matter
Branded Generics Infographic
Emerging Regions to Watch: Latin America

Branded Generics