The pharmaceutical industry has faced various challenges in the last decade, including expiring patents on many blockbuster drugs, an increase in competition from generic drugs and biosimilars, and pressure to reduce prices from financially strapped governments. Governments who have previously reimbursed companies for clinically approved drugs are pushing hard for significantly lower prices.

Pharmaceutical negotiations take place in an extremely complex regulatory context, where technological, policy, economic, and political agendas collide. In this multi-stakeholder environment, pharmaceutical companies have become increasingly aware of the need to prepare more systemically for negotiations. CBI has partnered with PriceSpective LLC a strategic pricing consultancy serving healthcare companies, to develop and deliver highly tailored training and coaching for specific assets in specific countries.


CBI interviews leaders to understand their negotiating contexts and challenges; trains participants in the Mutual Gains Approach to negotiation; coaches participants in mock negotiations with counterparts; and provides analytically powerful tools for analyzing stakeholders interests.

Following an initial assessment, CBI designed and delivered tailored workshops for HP negotiators. We then provided advanced courses tailored to address difficult negotiations in the direct procurement context. Trainings addressed specific topics, including unique supply chain problems; negotiating with a large, powerful counterparts; and cross-cultural negotiation. CBI also provided targeted, one-on-one negotiation coaching for HP negotiators.

Company 1: For one group, CBI conducted a negotiations audit by interviewing more than 50 leaders from across the company. We then designed and delivered tailored negotiation workshops to country teams from Latin America and Europe. The trainings combined negotiation theory with intensive simulation exercises, starting with an overview of the Mutual Gains Approach (MGA) to negotiation, and followed by mock negotiation exercises designed to address actual upcoming encounters to be faced by the various teams. Each team was given preparation time to apply MGA to their specific mock negotiation context.

Company 2: Teaming up with PriceSpective LLC, CBI designed highly tailored workshops and “negotiation playbooks” for teams seeking payer reimbursements for specific asset lines in specific countries. In some cases, we brought in former payers to play the role of the payer in mock negotiations. These negotiations were filmed and then reviewed with each team, with CBI providing both strategic feedback and behavioral coaching to address specific issues and opportunities.

As both companies operate in complex multi-stakeholder environments that require rigorous and complex preparation, CBI wove key tools and concepts regarding coalition-building and strategy into the workshops, and provided simple but analytically powerful tools for analyzing stakeholder interests. This allowed the companies to think through complex problems and relationships in a focused and structured way.


CBI's in-depth training and strategic and behavioral coaching leaves participants well prepared for their upcoming negotiations, and company leaders report improved negotiation outcomes.

In several cases country leaders reported back substantially better results in their negotiations as a result of the workshop and the Mutual Gains Approach. The specific behavioral feedback for individuals and teams also led to increased confidence around negotiations skills. Said one team leader, "The training helped us understand each team member's roles, and also helped us to step back and think about the [other party's] intention. It was a huge success [for our country team]. Thank you for your expertise, facilitation, and your patience."