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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Big BD and the Universal Fire Code

It’s been a long week of Business Development meetings, four or five companies a day, five to ten people per company, for the past week. Stacks of business cards, handshakes and smiles. A great chance to see old acquaintances; meet smart and dynamic people championing new ideas, and a fascinating snapshot of the state of pharma. My role in the meetings is minimal, lots of time to observe and ponder. I keep thinking of the Universal Fire Code.

Back in the day, the weekend began after Saturday morning lab time with a Whole Foods sandwich in front of the Discovery Channel. One program that affected me deeply surprised me. It was about fire, a history of fire disasters…infamous, tragic, titillating, perfect to begin the weekend. A man appeared talking about the Universal Fire Code. A huge tome of building regulations, very boring and dry, facts and no heart, but something in his speech grabbed my attention. He talked with conviction and passion. I stopped eating. This book is holy, he explained, perhaps more holy than anything ever written in human history. Every line in this compendium has come at the cost of human suffering and death. Pages and pages of knowledge learned dearly.

This holy book is what I’m thinking of as we meet leaders of our industry. I see the people we are meeting with as authors of a new holy knowledge. Maybe the universal pharma code. They work hard, with dedication, on an important endeavor. To understand the rules and solutions of suffering caused by disease, and write the code for all of us.

Our industry suffers greatly now, it’s visible tangibly in the fading lobbies of big pharma, and in the faces of those facing layoffs. Fewer people will be working on our universal pharma code in the coming years. I worry. But I’m hopeful. I’ve just met over 50 talented people who are convinced they can add something to the code. After this week, I believe them. I'm happy to be associated with them, I hope I can help.

1 comment:

  1. sounds something very serious and professional!