How to Create More Physician Pharma-Technopreneurs

How to Create More Physician Pharma-Technopreneurs

Most physician entrepreneurs, particularly those still in clinical practice, are more interested in devices, digital health and care channel, process and model improvement or innovation. For the drug industry, that is a problem since there are many exciting opportunities. Given the escalating costs and decrease in new drug research productivity, we need to do a better job of getting physician entrepreneurs engaged in the early stages of drug discovery, development and commercialization.

Here are some ideas about how to do it:

1. More participation in interdisciplinary associations and networks

2. Education about the value chain

3. Filling the gaps in how they can contribute value

4. "Dating services" connecting physician entrepreneurs with commercial ventures

5. Internships, apprenticeships and knowledge exchange arrangements

6. More interaction with the drug development investment community and board dynamics

7. Encouraging participation in convergence of drugs, devices and digital health

8. Redesigning clinical trials design and execution

9. Better basic science/clinician/industry collaboration

10. Non-clinical career development education and training

11. Exposure to how drugs are financed by private equity, investment bankers and venture capital firms.

12. Focus on how to contribute on value inflection points and how to assist with overcoming the barriers to dissemination and implementation.

13. More education about drug regulatory pathways and rules

14. More education about drug intellectual propery

15. More education about drug pricing, supply chain and distribution channels

Most clinicians, even many MD/PhDs, think drug discovery, development and commercialization is too complicated, risky, expensive, and time consuming and should be left to the basic scientists. That's a big mistake and ignores the big opportunities for physician pharma-technopreneurs to create value.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs

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  • Elliott Hynes

    It’s a difficult thing to teach someone how to change the way they think.

  • Luc Yearwood

    Conformity comes with a steep price.

  • Christian Sundby

    Selling in medicine seems to be a dirty word.

  • Pamela Urbanski

    Intriguing post. The choice right now is entirely yours, you can make an impact.

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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