The post-World War II era was a golden age for the pharmaceutical industry. Large pharmaceutical companies churned out new antibiotics, vaccines and medications at an astonishing rate that radically changed people’s lives for the better. Today, however, innovation in the pharmaceutical industry is very different. Tighter regulations, expiring patents and the growth in genomics have all affected the industry.
With the flattening of growth in pharma sales in developed countries, drug makers are increasingly looking to emerging markets for new sources of growth and revenue. This means pharmaceutical companies will focus on global competencies with strategies tailored for local markets to stay competitive.
The trend toward cost containment in healthcare is driving the heated debate about access to costly drug treatments. Healthcare executives are increasingly involved in formulary decisions. Pharmaceutical companies will need to provide more evidence-based data on health outcomes to justify a particular therapy or medication. Value needs to be communicated to all stakeholders: insurers, healthcare providers and patients. Collaboration between bioinformaticists and marketing is necessary to develop marketing materials designed for each audience, focusing on evidence and positive health outcomes.
As one of the most prominent pharmaceutical industry trends, mergers and acquisitions have shaped the pharmaceutical industry more significantly than other industries. This is because the pharma industry is high risk; few products make it to market, and fewer still recoup the cost of R&D. The focus of mergers and acquisitions will change, too, from accumulating a large portfolio of products to concentrating on areas of strength and shedding areas of weakness.
The growing use of artificial intelligence is an important trend in the pharmaceutical industry. According to PharmaExec.com, the industry can use artificial intelligence to do things such as:
- Create new approaches for marketing that will attract customers
- Improve drug trials
- Manage large amounts of data rapidly
- Replace old manufacturing processes that relied on humans with automated processes
- Strengthen quality control processes
Big pharma doesn’t just serve patients, it also serves a host of other types of consumers, from the clinicians who prescribe drugs and the hospitals that buy and administer them to the distributors and pharmacies that stock and deliver them. With so many customer types, it’s paramount that drug companies learn as much as possible about each one so that they can identify the areas and people with the most profitable issues to address. They can do this through a variety of research measures.
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