Big Pharma Needs a Long Tail

I was reading Clayton Christensen’s latest piece, "Big Pharma’s Prognosis" on Forbes.com, where he talks about some remedies for pharmaceutical companies. He’s close to the most important point but doesn’t get there or quite spell it out: Big Pharma’s in need of tapping into the long tail.

We’re seeing signs of life on the long tail in some ways, with futuristic predictions pf people receiving drugs specifically targeted to their own DNA. When you can tailor content (drugs) to everyone’s individual needs (DNA), that’s precisely what the long tail’s all about. Additionally, the long tail means all those diseases and ailments suffered from a relatively small number of people or by a large number of people who are being underserviced.

With pharmaceuticals, life and death are on the line, so I haven’t fully sketched out how Big Pharma can feasibly tap into the long tail, but I have no doubt that’s where the future of the industry is going, and that’s where real opportunity lies.