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A little about yourself: What’s your background, who do you work for and what do you do for them? My name is Paul Condon. I work for Horizon Pharma and I am the VP of Supply Chain here in Dublin.


My secret to planning is…to be as succinct as possible. I find it best to set out clear objectives from the beginning so that I know exactly what I want to achieve and then from there I lay out the timelines that will allow me to achieve my goal.

My secret to building trust is…frequent, honest, straightforward conversation.

My secret to fostering accountability is…to be clear on expectations. You can’t hold people accountable if there is a lack of certainty as to who is doing what, so I find that if expectations are aligned and there is no ambiguity then I can build up accountability with people from there.

My advice on managing difficult people is…to start off by finding out what is causing the issue in the first place. In the pharmaceutical industry, it is all about route cause analysis and getting to the bottom of what is causing the problem, so I think if you can find out why there is a difficulty then you can figure out the solution from there.

My secret to challenging trading times is…to focus on the things that I can influence. It is important to communicate and acknowledge the challenges that we are facing but it can be easy to get bogged down on these issues so I find it best to focus on the things that I can control and let the rest take its course.

My secret to leading through change is… to try and build systems and processes to help manage the change. In Horizon Pharma, a lot of our changes come from the way our business model is structured. Our business model is largely focused on growth by acquisition, so we are regularly acquiring products and companies so it is important for us to build robust systems and processes to allow the integration to happen smoothly.

My secret to ensuring I continue to grow and develop as a leader is… to continuously try putting myself out of my comfort zone. It is very easy to get comfortable so I like to challenge myself by learning, reading or doing new things. I also like getting involved extracurricular things such as rugby and Pharmachemical Ireland.

The biggest challenge facing my industry today is…the shift in personalised medicines and the economics associated with it. We are now largely focused on small volume, very expensive products and this presents unfavourable consequences such as issues with pricing and trying to get reimbursement. It is becoming a bigger and bigger challenge as we are moving away from the commodities and becoming more tailored, and this by nature is expensive to research, develop and manufacture which is a challenge that companies are facing all the time.

The greatest opportunity available to my industry today is…getting involved with rare diseases and orphan drugs. This area presents huge opportunities and I think it is an area of the business that is a nice part to be in because you get the opportunity to change people’s lives.

And on a lighter note… If I could step into the shoes of one person for the day, it would be Joe Schmidt, the Irish Rugby manager, on the 5th of November 2016, when Ireland beat New Zealand because the role that he has is a phenomenal role at the best of times but that day must have been the pinnacle for him.

Articles by Caroline Baldwin