The Various Shapes of Innovation

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Background: Innovation is one of the most difficult words to define, especially when it comes to health technology. The aim of this article is to get a better understanding of the multi-dimensional facet of innovation, how this is valued by different stakeholders and the way forward in order to create innovative interventions for the sake of the patients and the society.

Methods: A literature search was performed using mainly the PubMed database and reports from various organisations (EFPIA, etc.).

Results: In the past, innovation in the pharmaceutical industry was the result of the findings of basic science translated into clinical compounds, ending up in marketed drugs. This model is not valid anymore since significant changes reshaped the drivers of innovations and the key players. Rising costs, increased competition, new scientific and technological developments, well-informed patients created a much more challenging environment where coordinated and committed collaboration seemed to be the only way to overcome these obstacles and reach innovation in order to discover, develop and deliver medicines to patients.

Conclusions: Innovation initiatives have already proved their value by providing solutions to the major challenges the industry faces. It is now clear that a healthy biomedical ecosystem is determined by all stakeholders-academia, nonprofit/for-profit research institutions, government agencies, pharma/biotech industry and patients. Innovation initiatives provide the platform needed in which all stakeholders can meet and share their knowledge in order to deliver through innovation improved outcomes for patients while shaping an efficient and sustainable healthcare system.

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