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Trends in the Pharmaceutical Industry - Are you Ready?

Publish Date: 14-06-2018
Sector: Pharmaceutical
Country: The Netherlands

Trends in the Pharmaceutical Industry - Are you Ready?

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The Pharmaceutical Industry is changing as we know. It has come to our attention that there are many new trends who were created in the Pharmaceutical Industry that we certainly want to bring to your attention. What is happening and why, are you ready?


Trend #1: Pharma emerging markets increase contributions to innovation.

The growing importance of emerging markets can be no longer ignored, in terms of where the pharmaceutical industry is turning for growth and profitability. The increased spending power of these so-called “pharmerging” markets means that new pharma products need to be launched on a more global scale than ever before. It is expected that this year’s pharmerging markets will increasingly influence the global strategy for the pharmaceutical industry.

These markets have become the fastest area of growth in Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications, with Russia and China outpacing the rest of Europe and North America. This trend will continue into 2018, with emerging markets turning their focus towards health issues particularly affecting their populations.

For example, as many as six Middle Eastern countries are among the top 10 globally in terms of type-2 diabetes prevalence: Kuwait (24%), Qatar (23%), Saudi Arabia (23%), Bahrain (22%), UAE (19%) and Lebanon (17%). As a result, local pharmaceutical companies are focusing their R&D effort towards treatments for T2D.


Trend #2: Rising healthcare costs drive innovation.

According to an IMS Health study, the annual growth in global healthcare spending was around $70 billion in 2014 up from $26 billion in 2012. This dramatic increase in spending is forcing governments to reassess healthcare costs and apply pressure to bring these costs down.

One way in which costs are being kept down is through new healthcare innovations. Some of the new innovations likely to hit the healthcare market include wearable technology. These innovations will be hi-tech, wearable devices and mobile apps. The Pharmaceutical industry is growing and growing.


Trend #3: Growing conflict between access to medicines and affordability.

In terms of market access, the rising cost of healthcare is being met by increasing demands for new evidence and definitions of positive health outcomes. As PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC comment in their report: “The growing conflict between drug access and affordability will create fresh pressure for data that show these expensive medications work better than others and are worth the premium.”

What’s more, communicating new evidence about drug value to key stakeholders – insurers, physicians and patients – will require additional skills and techniques. Account managers, sales reps and patient engagement specialists will need to collaborate with quantitative analysts or bio-informaticists to tailor new drug information for each different audience.

By using new and sophisticated apps, pharma companies in the pharmaceutical industry will be able to customize the new drug information much more quickly and easily, and demonstrate value to payers in new and engaging ways.


Trend #4: Collaborate to innovate.

Innovation will also be driven by an increase in collaboration across the pharma sector. To thrive in the increasingly competitive modern pharma market, companies will have to work together to develop innovative new products, services, and solutions, as well as share skills and expertise.

A great example of this type of collaboration in action is the recently announced collaboration between AbbVie, a research-based biopharmaceutical company, and the Google-backed life sciences firm Calico. By using Calico’s technical expertise to establish a new research and development facility, and with AbbVie using its scientific and clinical development support and commercial experience to bring discoveries to market, the two companies hope to discover, develop and market new therapies for patients with age-related diseases, such as cancer.


Trend #5: More mergers and acquisitions as the recalibration of the industry continues.

Global M&A deals in the healthcare/life sciences sector hit an unprecedented $317.4 billion in the first half of last year, and the second half saw some absolutely huge deals, such as Allergan’s $66 billion acquisition of Actavis. That’s not even taking into account the scrapped $55 billion takeover bid for Shire by AbbVie or the failed $118 billion takeover of AstraZeneca by Pfizer – which would have been the largest acquisition in pharma history.

This year will again bring a series of high profile acquisition bids. Some will succeed and others will fail. It is not unlikely that Shire will again emerge as a target, possibly for Pfizer who might be looking for a new target after their failed AstraZeneca bid. Other rumored targets from 2014, such as UK’s Smith & Nephew and the Swiss Actelion, might re-emerge on the horizon soon.


Trend #6: The era of smaller and more frequent product launches continues

According to IMS Health, nearly 200 new drugs are forecast to be launched in the next five years, with a high number of new molecular entities (NMEs) expected to be launched annually. This continuation is a second wave of innovation similar to levels seen in the mid-2000s.

There are currently over 2,000 products in late-stage clinical development, of which a quarter are oncology therapies. Furthermore, the growing number of medicines receiving the FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy Designation is contributing to an acceleration of approvals. Yet the global availability of these new medicines to patients varies significantly by country and disease, with less than half of new products available across all the major developed markets within five years of launch in the pharmaceutical industry.


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