Business Case Studies, Innovation and New Product Development Case Study, Innovation at Wyeth: ‘Managing’ Scientific Productivity

print page
Tell A Friend

Case Categories

Innovation and New Product Development Case Study

Case Title:

Innovation at Wyeth: ‘Managing’ Scientific Productivity

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Swapna Gopalan

Industry: Health Care


Case Code: IPD0033B

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

Buy This Case Study

The late 1990’s marked the beginning of tumultuous years for the global pharmaceutical industry. Companies were plagued by problems such as declining R&D productivity, rising costs of commercialisation and shortening exclusivitRobert Ruffolo, who joined Wyeth as executive vice president, Pharmaceutical Research and Development, in November 2000, attributed Wyeth’s problem to inefficient handling of its R&D (drug discovery) product pipeline. Using lessons drawn from non-pharma manufacturing industries, Ruffolo reorganised the entire R&D’s drug discovery function, internally referred to as, "The New Way of Working", with a view to instill discipline and to bring about efficiency in the existing system. Wyeth pledged to deliver an unprecedented two New Molecular Entities (NMEs) every year beginning from 2006 and “for many years thereafter”. How successful was Ruffolo’s action? Would Wyeth be able to deliver its promise?y periods. Wyeth, one of the world’s largest research-driven pharmaceutical and healthcare products companies, was also faced with the same problem – rising R&D expenses but lowering R&D productivity levels.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To help develop ‘out of the box’ thinking
  • To understand the process of looking at the ‘business angle’ in areas like science and medicine
  • To understand HR issues better.

Keywords :  Innovation; R&D; Pharmaceutical industry; Innovation Management Case Study; Robert Ruffolo; Wyeth; bonus; Drugs; incentive; productivity; US; discovery pipeline; scientist; scorecard; performance


  • The Pharmaceutical Industry in the US: A Background Note
  • Wyeth: A Brief History
    • Wyeth after Robert Ruffolo’s Entry
      • Setting–up of Review Process

      • Linking Compensation to Productivity
      • Specialization
      • Outsourcing
  • The Outcome
  • Conclusion - A Pipeline to Success?

Recently Bought Case Studies

    Recently Bought Case Studies

Contact us: IBS Case Development Centre (IBSCDC), IFHE Campus, Donthanapally, Sankarapally Road, Hyderabad-501203, Telangana, INDIA.
mob: +91- 9640901313,, Phone: +91 - 08417 - 236672,

©2020-2025 IBS Case Development Centre. All rights reserved. | Careers | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Disclosure | Site Map xml sitemap