A German market research company has just issued a report which confirms that the pharma industry has its back against the wall. A leading expert says the industry "does not have a vision of the future". We say—be diligent, be astute and be careful, as a cornered rat can be dangerous.
MUNICH, German, July 7, 2008 - Times are getting ever tougher for pharmaceutical companies. New registration procedures and the restructuring of healthcare systems are changing the industry and causing fiercer price competition. Many companies are being forced to radically rethink their business models. The Roland Berger study "Pharma at the crossroads – Choosing directions in a transforming healthcare world" analyzes the trends and key issues for international pharmaceutical companies that focus on patented prescription drugs. The participating companies represent more than 50% of global drugs sales, and 20 out of the 30 largest pharmaceutical groups.
The study "Pharma at the crossroads" is based on questionnaires, fifty face-to-face interviews with top decision makers from leading global drugs companies and data research. Most participating companies recognize that the traditional pharmaceutical business model is coming under massive pressure.
Those surveyed see strategic opportunities primarily in two areas: first, pharmaceutical companies should develop into integrated healthcare service providers, and not just sell products. Second, they should further increase innovation and efficiency through more intensive cooperation with external providers. The changing healthcare systems in different regions of the world are a key driver of change in the industry.
Surprised? Surely no. The pharma companies have their backs up against the wall, as more and more people look to methods that don't just involve pharmaceutical drugs to manage their own health. But just like a cornered rat, this is when they can be most dangerous. Given their predicament, there is no doubting that the pharma companies are going to increase, rather than reduce, their tirade of attacks on the natural products sector that—by virtue of its safe, effective, relatively cheap and unpatented products—threatens them to their core.
It's revealing also, when a leading pharma expert says (see end of full story): "The pharmaceutical industry does not have a vision for the future. The answers to these fundamental questions will make or break the players in the industry,"