The Pharmaceutical industry’s long successful strategy of placing big bets on a few molecules, promoting them heavily and turning them into blockbusters worked well for many years, but its R&D productivity has now plummeted and the environment’s changing. PwC believes that seven major trends are reshaping the marketplace:

  • Instances of chronic disease are increasing, placing even greater pressure on already stretched healthcare budgets
  • Healthcare policy-makers and payers are increasingly mandating what doctors can prescribe
  • A growing number of healthcare payers are measuring the pharmacoeconomic performance of different medicines. A widespread use of electronic medical records will give them the data they need to insist on outcomes-based pricing
  • Boundaries between different forms of healthcare are blurring, as clinical advances render previously fatal diseases chronic and the self-medication sector expands
  • Demand for medicines is growing more rapidly in the emerging economies than the industrialized economies
  • Governments are beginning to focus on prevention rather than treatment, although they have not yet invested very much in pre-emptive measures; and
  • Regulators are becoming more cautious about approving truly innovative medicines.

These trends will compound the challenges Pharma already faces, but they’ll also provide some major opportunities.

Collaborate and capitalise on new sciences

Costs per molecule are still rising relentlessly and the number of new medicines reaching the market remains broadly flat. Why? Our research suggests a distinct problem is scientific and we think three changes would make a big difference. The industry should rebalance its expenditure and invest more in the early …

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Serve growth markets profitably


By 2020, the BRIC economies alone will account for 33% of the world’s GDP. Are growth markets a solution to the harsher conditions of the mature ones? Expenditure on medicines is rising far faster in the growth economies than it is elsewhere (see chart below). But serving the growth markets …

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Mature markets – Maximising the molecule

Collectively the mature markets generate 59% of the total revenues but they are becoming more difficult places where to prosper. They are demanding better outcomes as a precondition for paying for new medicines. Financial pressures have played a part in hardening healthcare payers’ policies. Crushing demographic and epidemiological factors have …

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