Pharma 2020: The vision
Demand for effective medicines is rising, as the population ages, new medical needs emerge and the disease burden of the developing world increasingly resembles that of the developed world. The E7 countries – Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkey – are also becoming much more prosperous, with real gross domestic product (GDP) projected to triple over the next 13 years. By 2020, the E7 could account for as much as one-fifth of global sales.
Yet the biopharmaceutical sector (Pharma) will find it hard to capitalise on these opportunities unless it can change the way in which it functions. Its core problem is lack of productivity in the lab. Several external factors have arguably exacerbated the industry’s difficulties, but the inescapable truth is that it now spends far more on research and development (R&D) and produces far fewer new molecules than it did 20 years ago. The shortage of good medicines in the pipeline underlies many of the other challenges Pharma faces, including its increasing expenditure on sales and marketing, deteriorating financial performance and damaged reputation.
At the start of the decade, many people thought that science would come to the industry’s rescue and that molecular genetics would reveal numerous new biological targets, but the human genome has proved even more complex than anyone first envisaged. It is no longer the speed at which scientific knowledge is advancing so much as it is the healthcare agenda that is dictating how Pharma evolves.