Two leading executives in the US generics market outline why robust company culture is key to attracting top talent that might otherwise gravitate towards the traditional research-driven industry.
Talent attraction in the US generics market could potentially become a serious problem in the next few years. Ed Price, president of Seqens North America, a US manufacturer of generics, foresees that a lack of employees could be a barrier to the industry’s development in the US.
Writing in Contract Pharma, he notes that “The industry is projected to grow significantly over the next decade but there’s one challenge that needs to be addressed, and it’s not funding or potential new medicines. It’s the number of people who are looking to enter the market. MassBio and other groups have projected significant worker shortages within the next few years if not addressed. Expect public-private partnerships to be established to help recruit and train people to work in labs. Colleges, especially those facing declining enrolment, will likely focus more on career preparedness, including internships, to give their students a leg up for after graduation. It will be important for colleges, local governments and local businesses to work together in what’s really in the interest of all three.”
For Carol Lynch, president of US and head of North America for Sandoz, the generics arm of Big Pharma giant Novartis, building a purposeful company culture is key to mitigating this looming crisis and attracting a strong team.
The US market is continuously evolving, and Sandoz continuously provides the corresponding agility and variety in terms of opportunities for growth within our organization, which really makes us extremely attractive to potential employees
“Fortunately, we do not have any difficulty attracting great talent due to the culture of the organization,” she explains. “This is probably the first positive surprise I had when I joined Sandoz: the organizational culture is incredibly purpose-driven, and this is something very tangible you feel the moment you walk through the doors of our organization. Our associates come to work every day excited because they know how important their work is to improving patient access to medicines. This is something deeply ingrained in our culture.”
Lynch adds, “This culture is absolutely key in helping us attract the diverse sets of talents and skills we need to manage our diverse and broad portfolio across both generics and biosimilars. What I particularly love about Sandoz is the opportunity to bring both sets of skills and expertise together. The US market is continuously evolving, and Sandoz continuously provides the corresponding agility and variety in terms of opportunities for growth within our organization, which really makes us extremely attractive to potential employees.”
Indian generics firm Glenmark, on a similar tack, has attempted to build an entrepreneurial and ambitious company culture in the US to attract top talent.
The generic business by definition is a very fluid environment and our people really have many opportunities to wear different hats in the organization
Robert Matsuk, Glenmark’s president for North America states that “Glenmark prides itself on having a very entrepreneurial culture as opposed to other big innovative pharma companies. The generic business by definition is a very fluid environment and our people really have many opportunities to wear different hats in the organization – our employees appreciate this flexibility to gain a width and breadth of experience.”
Glenmark’s development is not limited to generics either, offering employees the chance to gain experience in different sectors. “Although we are a generic company today, our vision is to enter into the specialty pharma space and even develop innovative medicines with our Ichnos Sciences operations – our biotechnology division which is run as a separate company.”