John Klein has held various leadership positions throughout the healthcare industry for over 30 years. At every company he’s worked for, John has been instrumental in leading the company’s growth and increased profitability.
John Klein started his career with Zenith Laboratories in 1988. John served as President & CEO of the major manufacturer and distributor of generic drugs for a few years. In the mid-1990s, Zenith was acquired by Ivax, NA, the largest generic drug company that was active in the industry at the time. After the acquisition, John Klein continued to serve as President and helped increase the company’s shareholder value to over $1 billion. He then went on to become Chairman & CEO of MIM Corp., where he also had similar success.
John Klein continued to lead other pharmaceutical and healthcare-related companies such as Cybear, Strategic Business & Technology Solutions, and NovaDel Pharma, Inc. before taking a position as Lead Independent Director of Kindred Healthcare, a nationwide hospital, rehab center, and nursing home company, in 2001.
While John Klein was working at Kindred Healthcare, he also founded Dava Pharmaceutical Company, which manufactured and distributed prescription drugs worldwide. After eight years, John sold Dava to Endo International, a specialty branded pharmaceutical company, so he could focus full-time on his new venture, Cambridge Therapeutic Technologies.
John Klein launched Cambridge Therapeutic Technologies in 2011, where he served as Chairman & CEO until 2017. His forward-thinking pharmaceutical company provided innovative combination drug therapies to patients and their clients, which ranged from single physician offices to major medical complexes, across the country.
Today, John Klein serves as Founder & CEO of BILogix, an enterprise performance management firm that supports organizations in establishing strategic objectives and assessing their readiness to expand their operations and market reach to increase their efficiency and meet their financial goals.
An accomplished and trusted pharmaceutical executive, John Klein has been recognized by Business Week and has received other accolades, including: earning 11th place on Forbes’ list of the Top 100 CEOs, being recognized with a Bronze Standing from Wall Street Transcripts, and receiving the Outstanding CEO Award from Mitchell and Company. He was also a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
A community-focused leader, John Klein served on the board of trustees of the Dwight Englewood School, an independent coeducational college preparatory institution in New Jersey, for three years, and also serves on the board at the Hackensack Meridian Health Hospitals. He is active in the support and research of areas including autism, Alzheimers, and therapy for triple-negative breast cancer.
Where did the idea for BILogix come from?
My idea for BILogix came after 28 years of dealing with the pharmaceutical industry. After looking at the supply chain, I have observed various ways to shorten it and get doctors closer to their patients in regards to convenience, compliance, and adherence with therapeutic prescriptions. There needs to be better communication between doctors and their patients, especially centered around patient medications. Using new trends, like mail-order features, will help reduce patient costs, while also working to control costs within the overall system. BILogix has now been around for two and a half years.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I spend a good part of my day looking at therapeutic classes — there are around 23 to 24 out there — in regards to physician practices. I also look at the highest prescribing drugs within these classes, as well as the availability of these drugs through cost-effective generics and how they might be used in combination with other drugs. After studying the drugs and the dosage forms that are highly-scripted, as well as the availability of the drugs to manufacturers, I create protocols for particular physician practices and look at contract sales forces that spend a lot of time calling these areas. I get in contact with them about their interest in gaining access to these physicians for the therapies that I’ve designed.
I make a lot of phone calls to find out what the trends are so that I know what’s going on in the industry. With the pharmaceutical industry being worth over $400 billion (and growing), there is a lot of research and information out there that has been published online and in journals, so it’s important to be informed about everything, from traditional aspects of the industry to growing trends.
How do you bring ideas to life?
It’s important that I look at where patients are today with their pharmaceuticals, and the need for those pharmaceuticals. It’s also important that I look at how doctors work with their patients with certain medicines and if there are ways to improve upon the compliance and adherence to patient medication and particular therapies that are advantageous to patients. I am a big advocate in better healthcare relying on closer doctor-patient relationships, and how medicines are delivered to and taken by patients. The world is changing in areas like telehealth, so doctors now have the ability to send eScripts, rather than having the patient walk into a CVS or other drugstores.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Being in the pharmaceutical industry, the two most explosive areas I see moving forward are mail-order and telemedicine. These trends have always been around, but they often got pushed away by large retail channels, despite these channels dabbling in them. I believe these two areas will make healthcare and medicine more convenient and trusted for patients.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I try to look at opportunities and whether that opportunity, if capitalized on, would be sustainable or not.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Really spend time knowing the facts and research surrounding the area that you’re going into. Make sure to understand the products, as well as how they’re served. What are the trends that will make the area grow or shrink? And what are the areas that define the competition? Knowing then what I know now would have been so helpful in forging my career in the industry.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The retail market as we know it today is about to go through a dramatic shift downward in terms of pharmacy and in-person visits.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Study the competition that’s out there and know the trends of the marketplace in which you’re going to compete in.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
It’s important that I’ve always understood the pharmaceuticals and therapies that are required for patients. It’s also important that I study the supply chain.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Sometimes it’s easy to misjudge decisions that people in the marketplace make concerning products or services. These decisions are often knee-jerk reactions and are made rather quickly. But it’s important to learn from your failures. Anyone that has said they haven’t made a mistake in their life have never really tried.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Never grow complacent in your position. If you’re successful in your business, it will attract competitors and you’ll see failures in the industry that others can’t see because they’ve become complacent. This happens all the time. Industries are taken over by new competitors who came in because the other organizations weren’t trying to grow and improve. Look at all the computer manufacturers who missed the PC initiative. There are a significant number of other case studies like this example.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Thinking of more recent purchases, I spent money on some organizational items for my office. Not only has it kept me much more organized, but it has helped immensely to keep me productive and task driven when it comes to completing daily to dos.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Microsoft Outlook most frequently. It’s sufficient for my needs and stays up-to-date, which is helpful so I’m not working with outdated software.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim. It’s simple in its format, but carries a very strong message.
What is your favorite quote?
“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” — Winston Churchill
- Don’t grow complacent in your success.
- Don’t fall out of touch with your industry: communicate with other professionals and stay up-to-date with the latest innovations.
- Determine whether or not opportunities are sustainable before jumping in.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.