The Biopharma Case Competition hosted by Rutgers Business School is an annual competition designed to challenge and expand student’s knowledge around the healthcare industry. The competition this year was sponsored by Novartis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novo Nordisk, Bayer, Herspiegel Consulting, Quintiles, and Buchanan Ingersoll Rooney. Each team was given one week to research and prepare a recommendation for the case. The problem tasked in this year’s case highlighted the controversial issue of pharmaceutical pricing strategies. Each team had to determine the value of a new medication by better understanding the regulations related to the drug’s classification. From this information, the teams had to create a value proposition for the product, determine the price, and recommend contracting options.
The Penn State team was made up of second year students with an interest in the healthcare industry. We focused our recommendation around communicating the value of the new medication to patients through incentivized contracting and additional features to improve patient compliance. Ultimately we ended up not placing, and the winning teams focused on the financial projections and regulatory complexities for the medication. The experience taught us an amazing amount about the pharmaceutical industry from challenges with FDA trials to government contracting options to marketing strategies. We highly recommend future Penn State teams to compete in this competition for the vast learning and networking opportunities offered.