AstraZeneca's Brennan, Congressman Gephardt Speak on the Importance of Manufacturing

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Outsourcing manufacturing has its value, say AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan and former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, but can never replace the importance of in-house manufacturing expertise to a company's ability to innovate and survive.

As the global drug market becomes more and more competitive, pharmaceutical companies are ramping up R&D and marketing efforts. This often comes at the expense of manufacturing, which many companies view as a necessary evil rather than a source of strength.

It shouldn't be this way, as AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan and former U.S. Congressman Dick Gephardt indicate in exclusive video interviews with Pharmaceutical Manufacturing senior editor Paul Thomas. Both Brennan and Gephardt confirm the importance of manufacturing as an opportunity for companies to gain a strategic advantage over their competitors.

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AstraZeneca raised some eyebrows a few years ago when executives suggested that the company would outsource most of its manufacturing operations. In this interview, CEO Brennan clarifies this perception: It's all about recognizing your core competencies, he says, and for AstraZeneca that means biologics and late-stage small molecule production. For "commodity" operations, outsourcing makes perfect sense, he says.

Champion of manufacturing and ex-House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt talks about the essential role that manufacturing must play in turning around the U.S. economy, and how workers can ready themselves for uncertainty ahead.


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