In screenwriting the three-act structure progresses from setup to confrontation to resolution, with the first act used for establishing the main characters.
It’s a device for fiction of course, but much of this year feels like just that. In fact, looking back on the last 12 months, 2016 also feels like a setup for events yet to come.
From Brexit to the Trump presidency, characters have certainly been established, even if the former finds European pharma mainly in the position of ‘knowing what it doesn’t know’. From the location of the EMA to the terms on which the UK’s pharma market will co-exist with the rest of the EU post-Brexit, there’s much to clarify.
On the other side of the pond certainty has been in short supply, as the president-elect continues to hold conflicting positions, in healthcare as in other policy areas.
He’s indicated he would like to keep some of the most popular benefits of the Affordable Care Act, but then appointed one of the Act’s most pointed critics Tom Price as his nominee for the post of health and human services secretary.
The main characters and themes having been introduced, the setup is followed by the confrontation, which then leads to the third act in the form of the resolution.
So, goodbye to 2016 and its setup. See you next year.