The pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a major transformation. The changes are among strategy and innovation researchers understood e.g. as new commercial strategies and business strategies (Galambos & Sturchio, 1998; Rao, 2010), collaborations, capabilities and strategic alliances (Hernández-Cuevas, 2007, Ohba & Figueiredo, 2007) new marketing approaches, industry policies and intellectual capital (da Silva & Oliveira, 2007; Hess & Rothaermel, 2012) and technological trajectories and globalization (Parayil, 2003).
However, how can we elaborate further on this transformation and these changes from a broader point of view than offered by the various models and perspectives illustrated above. We suggest that the theoretical models offer an in-depth understanding mainly of more delimited aspects of this transformation. A related argument to the limitations of our models for understanding what is going on in bio-pharmaceuticals is brought forward by Dougherty (2007), who provocatively asks if models are trapped in the 20th century?
What if we instead turn to the practitioners’ point of view for an in-depth and rich story of the transformations of the pharmaceutical industry? Thus, we argue that by inviting a practitioner point of view, a view from an insider, we can get a more comprehensive view of the complexities of the transformation. In this paper we present the development from the 1970’s leading to todays situation, and our main objective in the paper, is to formulate key issues and themes that can serve as foundations for future multi model research.