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Ammar Badwy
| Posted on January 30, 2023

The future of pharma: 5 things that will change the pharmaceutical industry


The world is changing, and so is the pharma market. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the strictest and most regulated markets out there. It makes sense, considering that the entire industry is built on procedures and double-checks to guarantee safe medicines. The downside, however, is that it made the market conservative without leaving any room for innovation. With all the recent technological advances, we’re in a digital era where companies need to adapt to survive. So, it’s only fair to say that we’re experiencing the beginning of some significant changes in the pharmaceutical industry: In this blog, I’ll share with you 5 things that will change the pharma market in the next ten years!


1. Culture in pharma organizations

A company’s culture refers to the attitude and behavior of an organization and its employees. Most companies in the pharmaceutical industry have a corporate culture where hierarchy defines their organization. This mindset worked fine for years. But since half of the workforce consists of Millennials nowadays, things are starting to change.

Millennials don’t care that much about the numbers on their paycheck and things like bonus structures. More importantly, they want to share the vision of the company. That’s why your company culture is essential to convincing new talent to decide on your company. These new young professionals under the age of 40 are looking for a company culture that allows them to become the best version of themselves. They want to know the company values and whether they share or overlap them.

For instance, 80% of millennials say that personal growth is the most important part of a company’s culture. These agile cultures, with characteristics like working in small groups with a minimal hierarchical structure, are no longer limited to tech companies in Silicon Valley. Following the trend, large enterprises also started to rewrite their culture.  


2. Politics in the pharmaceutical industry

At the beginning of the 20th century, most local pharmacies still used to produce medicines themselves.

Today, nearly all countries rely on China and India as the pharmacies of the world. The reason is simple; they can produce large quantities of APIs and medicines at low costs.

Since the COVID-19 crisis, countries in the world have realized that they are quite vulnerable when they are entirely dependent on another country. Even India doesn’t want to depend on the Intermediates and APIs from China. Having multiple resources is always ideal. In the case of political conflict, a shortage, or, as we have seen during the Corona crisis, a complete lockdown, billions of people will not have access to their medicine. Countries will reconsider the current pharma supply chain and have to accept that local production equals a higher price. For good reasons, I believe that India and China will remain the biggest pharma-producing countries, but there should be some alternatives.  


3. Working methods

The Corona crisis taught us something important about the corporate world: working from home is actually easier than expected. New trends and concepts have emerged, such as “workation,” which is a vacation that involves working from a remote location. Everyone is now used to having meetings with video call software such as Zoom and Google Meet.

In the future, we will consider whether or not it’s really necessary to fly to the other side of the world for a business meeting. Besides these video conferencing tools, there is lots of software to work more efficiently, like Google Drive, Slack, and Trello. These tools have already proven to make work more efficient and exciting in other markets. Surely, the pharma market will also benefit from these tools.  


4. Online marketing within the pharma sector

Watching a movie, booking a flight, or listening to music. Just take a few seconds to think about how differently we do those things compared to 15 years ago. The digital revolution has changed nearly all markets worldwide. It brought a lot of benefits.

Companies that saw the change early have benefited a lot from the internet. At the same time, some huge market leaders like Blackberry and Blockbusters don’t exist anymore because they were too focused on their own products. Pharma companies have always focused on sales, exhibitions, advertising in magazines, and their distribution network.

Current managers feel very comfortable using the internet. They grew up with MSN messenger, MP3 players, and other digital technologies. They started to take online marketing seriously and have caught up on their online visibility within their pharma organizations. The future of pharma is digital, and companies will invest to reach their audience online. Take a look at the video we’ve made about how to digitize your API business.


5. Sustainability in the pharmaceutical industry

Climate change is more relevant than ever. The production of pharmaceutical products harms the natural environment. Specifically, water pollution is harmful to animals and humans on a global scale. As the consequences of our behavior are reflected in nature with more natural disasters, everyone is becoming more aware of their ecological footprint; the pharma market will be challenged to reduce its pollution.

Chinese authorities have shut down raw material plants before to tackle air pollution. Sustainability will play an essential role in our industry in the next couple of years. Not only forced by local authorities but also from the bottom up by the new generation working in this industry.



What Role is Company Culture Playing in the Future of Pharma?


The culture within pharmaceutical organizations is undergoing a significant transformation. Millennials make up a substantial portion of the workforce and prioritize personal growth and shared company values over traditional hierarchical structures.

How is Politics Shaping the Pharma Supply Chain?


Geopolitical changes are prompting countries to reconsider their dependency on specific nations like China and India for APIs and medicines. The COVID-19 crisis has intensified this shift, pushing countries to explore alternative, local sources for pharmaceuticals.

What Impact Has Remote Work Had on the Pharmaceutical Industry?


The pandemic has shown that remote work is feasible and efficient. Technologies like video conferencing and project management tools are expected to redefine work methods in the pharmaceutical industry, reducing the need for extensive travel for business meetings.

How is Online Marketing Transforming the Pharma Sector?


Online marketing is gaining importance in the pharma sector as current managers, familiar with digital technologies, are focusing more on online visibility. The future of pharma marketing is expected to be heavily digitalized.

Is Sustainability a Priority in the Pharmaceutical Industry's Future?


Yes, sustainability is becoming a crucial focus, driven by the increasing awareness of climate change and ecological impact. Pharmaceutical companies will face challenges to reduce pollution and adopt environmentally-friendly practices.

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