Discussion Question: At a pharmaceutical firm, researchers are assigned to clusters of diseases (mental health conditions, autoimmune diseases, neurological diseases) rather than to a specific drug research project. What might be some of the benefits of organizing the firm’s research efforts in this manner? (p. 72 Project Management Textbook)

A PMI conference paper entitled Complexity of project management in the pharmaceutical industry, clearly outlines some of the challenges facing pharmaceutical firms. According to this research, pharmaceutical firms struggle with regulatory and compliance requirements which are becoming increasingly more stringent, the increasing cost of R&D efforts and the competition from the generic drug producers. To combat the growing regulatory requirements, rising R&D costs and the ability recover R&D costs due to competition from generic drug producers pharmaceutical firms focus on streamlining communication and coordination between internal functional teams. Organizing research efforts by disease clusters may provide a structure where broader functional organizations can more easily identify synergies. The ability to identify synergies is one way to offset the rising cost of R&D.

By finding developing efficiencies through the identification of synergies and streamlining communication and coordination pharmaceutical firms can shorten the drug-development cycle and ultimately bring drugs to market faster. Organizing efforts by disease clusters may create the opportunity to identify and reuse existing compounds reducing the phase of drug development which pharmaceutical firms call drug discovery.


Drug discovery. (2018, January 15). Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_discovery

Pattanaik, A. (2014). Complexity of project management in the pharmaceutical industry. Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2014—EMEA, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

Portny, Stanley E.. Wiley Pathways Project Management, 1st Edition. Wiley Higher Ed. Kindle Edition.



Complete Project 1-4 on page 35 in the MS Project 2013 book


Week 2 Exam (#1): 100%