Dr. William Carson-Intrapreneurial Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Dr. William Carson, an African-American psychiatrist who grew up in South Carolina. He had a thriving career in academic medicine as a professor and he also treated patients. After a decade in academic medicine he moved into the pharmaceutical industry where he ran drug trials. As the Group Director of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Carson worked on the drug Aripiprazole, an antipsychotic drug that is more famously known as Abilify. Abilify had been developed by Otsuka, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, and it was being co-marketed in the United States by Otsuka and Bristol Myers-Squibb. After a series of "Appleby's" conversations held during dinner meetings with a colleague from Otsuka at Appleby's restaurant, Carson was invited to join Otsuka's fledgling Princeton, N.J., office. Carson was then asked to take on the considerable task of running clinical trials for Abilify in Japan. The project would require a deft cultural touch as well as a plan for how to run the trials. Should the trials be run in-house or outsourced? Should Carson hire employees who might eventually be laid off - an unpopular option in Japan - or could he find a company with enough cultural sensitivity to run the trials in Asia? Carson would have to rely on his intrapreneurial skills to find the answers.