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PwC: Pharma industry on cusp of golden era

By Rob Starr, Content Manager,

Major scientific and technological advances, alongside socio-demographic changes and increasing demand for medicines, will revive pharma’s fortunes post 2020, according to a new report from PwC, Pharma 2020: From vision to decision.

The report believes that the industry needs to rebalance its expenditure and invest more in the early part of the R&D process to deal with rising costs. More needs to be done to improve productivity and the returns on R&D investment. Most of the products that will be launched in the coming years are already in the pipeline, but they are not aligned with demand and rising expectations from healthcare payers, providers and patients. Marrying the pipeline with the market in the next decade is going to be the key.

Despite the big changes in the industry over the past few decades, the report also finds that the organisational culture at many pharma companies has changed very little, or if anything has become more stultifying. The industry has struggled to deal with change in the past, but the report says change must now be embraced in a rapidly changing world. A demanding commercial environment is set to continue and in order to succeed, the report suggests this must change and industry’s top figures need to foster a creative corporate culture that allows organisations to develop with the courage to explore and flexibility to thrive in different conditions.

Steve Arlington, global advisory pharmaceutical and life sciences leader, PwC, said:

“A healthy, vibrant and responsive pharma industry is vital to society for the development of new medicines. More needs to be done to support and encourage long-term investment in the discovery and development of medicines to treat serious disease. We need to all work together to improve the wellbeing of populations.”

The growth markets – which will account for 33% of the world’s GDP and where demand for medicines will more than double by 2020 – offer the pharma industry countless opportunities but the report highlights that for it to be profitable, it’s about being sensitive, strategic and targeting the right population with the right medicine and delivering value.

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