Top 25 Consultants 2105: David Barrow

David Barrow
L.E.K. Consulting
Excellence in Healthcare 


David Barrow is Managing Director and leads the Biopharma, Life Sciences and MedTech practice for the Americas at L.E.K. Consulting. In this role, he works with many Rare Disease biopharmaceutical companies that target patients who otherwise would be unlikely to lead productive lives or live at all.

Over the past 12 months, he says, many of these clients have been making significant progress in the clinic and are preparing to bring their medicines to patients in the market beyond their small clinical trial groups. L.E.K. has been working to shape clinical trial decisions and to develop support and access programs to maximize the impact of these life-saving medicines to patients and their families.

“Being part of these successes has been the highlight for me,” Barrow says. “It has been extremely rewarding to serve as an advisor and enabler to more than 200 healthcare companies over the past 16 years to advance their vision of creating wellness, globally and cost-effectively.”

Barrow says advances in genetically targeted therapies, regenerative medicine, robotics, artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, molecular imaging, and numerous other disruptive technologies offer the possibility of transforming healthcare solutions and how they are delivered to patients, providers and payers.

“I’m thrilled to be collaborating with a wide range of innovators—pharma, biotech, medical device and healthcare technology companies—in these areas and seeing not only the successes to date but also the promise of even more that we are likely to achieve as we integrate capabilities of various stakeholders,” he says.

A big factor to the firm’s success, he says, is being able to find ways to enable and channel the talent of his client teams and colleagues at L.E.K. “The industry and science are so complex, and the choices have such high stakes that you have to bring everyone’s expertise, everyone’s A-Game to the table to succeed,” he says.

That A-Game includes such variables as: patient benefit/safety, large investments over many years by the healthcare companies, and the significant risk of failing in the trial stage because of the experimental nature of the science. “A big factor in our success has been the ability to bring all these considerations to the decision-making process for clients,” he says. “This enables client leaders in multiple functional areas to make critical decisions in an ever-changing environment.”

Because healthcare is a rapidly changing sector, Barrow says there is always more to learn and to teach, as the industry is evolving so rapidly and being shaped by so many different forces. “It’s very satisfying to see the consulting translate into tangible outcomes with high impact on my clients as organizations and as individual people,” he says.

What motivates you to excel?

“In healthcare it’s easy to be motivated and inspired. I’m working with healthcare leaders who put patient care at the center, have a passion for dramatically improving the lives of people, and have an intrinsic optimism about their ability to make the world a better place. I’ve personally benefited in my family from my clients’ innovations and I know first-hand how they can change lives. Our industry has its sights set on global impact—which establishes a lofty goal—yet it also touches individuals around us, making our work quite personal.”