Lessons from a Pharmaceutical Industry Veteran

Research and development for new drugs can take as much as sixteen years. For the former President of R&D at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Bob Ruffolo, that leaves no time for indecision. Having spent thirty-five years in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Ruffolo realized “indecision is paralysis”. It’s better, he believes, to correct a wrong decision than to make no decision at all. Dr. Ruffolo sits down with GLG to discuss the R&D process, what you can gain from negative role models, and other lessons from his decades in the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Robert R. Ruffolo Jr, Ph.D., DSc., D.Eng., is an Advisor at HemoShear, Shire, Trevena, and Merck Serono. Dr. Ruffolo also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology at The Ohio State University and an Adjunct Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology at the West Virginia University School of Medicine.

In addition to being President of Research and Development of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Ruffolo also served as Corporate Senior Vice President from 2002 to 2008. In these roles, he was responsible for all pharmaceutical R&D for Wyeth, including: drug discovery, drug safety and metabolism, chemical and pharmaceutical development, clinical R&D, regulatory affairs, clinical affairs, safety surveillance and epidemiology, research strategy, and research operations. Prior to his tenure at Wyeth, Dr. Ruffolo was Senior Vice President and Director of Biological Sciences Worldwide at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals. Before that, he worked at Lilly Research Laboratories.

Dr. Ruffolo has also been a consultant to over a dozen other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.