Pharma

Interview: East vs. West – Is there a regional approach to PPM in the US?

by Fleming. Team

Read the full interview with Leigh Shultz, PhD, PMP, Associate Vice President, Project Management – Primary Care, Infectious Disease, Vaccines, Global Project & Alliance Management, Merck and gain insight into the regional approach to PPM across the US.

1. What are the main differences in (pharma/biopharma) PPM between East and West cost of US?

The differences are not clear to me. We all work in the same business – many large pharma are now bi-coastal, and the biopharma culture on the west coast is now being replicated in Boston, for example. This should be cutting down on regionalization or differences, and yet the two PM communities don’t operate as one for some reason.


2. What are the tendencies? Are we heading to unification?

There is a perception that the west coast is more bio-pharma rather than traditional big pharma or more innovative/entrepreneurial. I think this may just be a perception, but the perception may be enough to influence the process mindset and project management approach in the companies.


3. How can the size of a company influence PPM strategies across more regions?

This depends on both the size of the company, its footprint, and its approach. For R&D PM, it depends more on where R&D is located and the size of the portfolio than size of the company per se.


4. What is the standpoint of Merck to regional differences in PPM strategies?

Merck’s R&D PM expertise is located in HQ in the US northeast, and we tend to be active in networking with other PM organizations in our region. We would like to make this a more global PM community – at a minimum, looking at approaches and opening dialogue across the industry in the US, regardless of region. It’s not clear why barriers might exist – perception only, time differences, culture, company size…?


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