More favourable conditions for the pharmaceutical industry, including a “golden era of renewed productivity and prosperity” have been forecast in a new report from analyst firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). According to the report, major scientific and technological advances, coupled with sociodemographic changes, increasing demand for medicines and trade liberalism, will help to transform the industry’s fortunes in 2020.
The report explains that there are three major challenges facing the industry at the moment: rising customer expectations, poor scientific productivity, and prevailing management culture, mental models and strategies that companies still rely on.
In addition, the report explains that there is a need to alter the concept of healthcare. Several industry trends have converged to increase the costs of healthcare and a proposed model is to focus on curing or preventing disease rather than treating it.
Several steps are described that pharmaceutical companies can take to ensure they make it through the challenges ahead and survive until 2020:
- Provide real-world data on medicines’ outcomes. Pooling data can provide vast knowledge about disease states and patient populations.
- Decide how much to invest in growth markets. The biggest markets may not be the most profitable ones. In addition, the costs of setting up local manufacturing may outweigh additional custom.
- Consider the implications of investing in new treatment types, such as vaccines and regenerative medicines. Be selective about the diseases approached.
- Invest more heavily in genetics and genomics, and revise R&D processes. Knowledge of genetics and genomics can lead to more effective personalised medicines.
- Collaborate with academia, government and nongovernment organisations, and other companies to access the best science and expertise.
- Companies need to focus on innovation that addresses the needs of patients, payers and providers.
The report, From Vision to Decision Pharma 2020, can be downloaded for free from PricewaterhouseCoopers .