Photo credit: GSK

Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is planning a commercial reboot to streamline their budget, according to a new article from Reuters. The plan comes after Luke Miels, the new Head of Pharmaceuticals challenged the company to find 20% savings within their budget and to reallocate the funds towards priority medicines.

emma walmsley gsk

Emma Walmsley, Chief Executive, GlaxoSmithKline

The level of this reform is substantial. It is thought that one of the main driving forces is Emma Walmsley, who became CEO of the company last April, and who has been making a strong push in recent months to revamp the business. As part of this overhaul, she brought in a number of new managerial staff in January, including Miels.

From a business standpoint, the reform makes sense. The pharma unit of GSK has started to fall behind its equivalents in other companies over the last few years and this reboot may allow the company to perform better commercially. In particular, Walmsley has been driving the company towards a model that enables them to develop fewer but more profitable medications.

“In R&D, we’re trying to pick which assets are most productive and are going to add the most value to patients. Well, we need to do the same thing in the commercial organisation,” Miels told Reuters. “That is something that will become more visible over time and it is a process that we are going through now … the strategy is more advanced than is visible externally.”

In July last year, Walmsley announced that GSK would be closing more than 30 drug development projects in an effort to streamline their pharmacological research and development unit. Now that Miels has been brought into the company, he is hoping to develop new areas of focus to centre R&D around, such as cancer treatments. This reboot may provide him with the opportunity to start to put this plan into action.