Trends Impacting the Life Science Industry

Trends Impacting the Life Science IndustryThe life science ecosystem is ever-evolving, with innovation shaping data consumption, patient engagement, and industry-wide spend. Here's an overview of the latest trends. 

The Data-Driven Movement

The evolution of our data ecosystem has stimulated a demand for analytics, revolutionizing the way businesses determine policies and evaluate opportunities. Recent breakthroughs in the manner in which electronic imaging, records, and genomic exploration are digested have provided exponential value in the way healthcare providers analyze medical information.

Deriving success from enterprise analytics requires the engineering of a strategy focused on leveraging insights to make informed conclusions. When developed incrementally, business needs can be prioritized, allowing pharma and life science companies to concentrate their investments on systems and technologies designed to resolve specific issues at hand.

Adopting a consistent procedure for using enterprise analytics can produce invaluable benefits – a science-backed case for investors to support a new commercial venture, data that identifies the genetic probability of an adverse drug reaction, conclusive findings that can be used to rehabilitate regulatory processes, and much more.

In PwC’s 2017 Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences Industry Trends report, they outline the departmental advantages of enterprise analytics specific to the pharma space:

R&D: Optimize design of clinical trials by targeting specific patient subpopulations.

Commercial: Inform pricing, market access, contracting strategy, and identification of treatable patients, all of which are critical to gain “profitable share” in competitive markets.

Risk and compliance: Enable quality and compliance functions to monitor risks in real time, identify outliers, and better allocate resources.

Supply chain: Enhance management of complex, global supply chains by predicting security and supply risks and quantitatively assessing vendor performance.”

As with any type of technology-based progression, skepticism will transpire whenever a strategy is recalibrated to reflect new developments. To pacify any internal apprehension, executive leadership will need to act in an advocate capacity. If feasible, assembling a group of data scientists to supervise roll-out efforts, mitigate exposure to data breaches, and create transparency through corporate-wide access to analytical information, will help alleviate any internal friction or backlash. 

Paradigm Shift: The Patient-First Mentality

The life science sector is beginning to reshape their fundamental anatomy, retiring traditional product promotion models and opting for a more collaborative approach. Companies implementing this tactic are optimizing their offering for patients, gathering information about an individual's health condition(s) and managing the drug regimens they’re prescribed. Efforts focused on patient engagement are advantageous to both the company, strengthening the success of regulatory initiatives and maximizing their bottom line, and the patient, amplifying the efficacy of the assigned treatment.

From a systemic perspective, adopting a patient-first philosophy to drive drug marketing, prescription, and approval processes will foster more valued relationships with consumers, not to mention enhance public perspective of these providers. Communication techniques are a key component in collaborating with patients and gathering the intelligence necessary for executing patient-centered practices. To develop an effective strategy, companies must analyze the patient’s level of compliance with prescribed treatments and the subsequent degree of success of those treatments. Despite the sensitive nature of sharing personal medical records, PwC’s latest research found that consumers are willing to grant regulators and pharma companies access to their records if it means enhancing the quality of care they receive. 

Our ever-evolving digital economy has fashioned healthcare providers and pharma establishments with technology that can seamlessly access patient data with a click of a button. From devices built to track vital signs to pocket-sized implants to biosensors with remote monitoring capabilities, healthcare companies can analyze and oversee disease progression and the corresponding rates of recovery for varying treatments.

The development of mobile applications will also serve as a channel for manufacturers to survey patients, explore individual behaviors, and ensure medication schedules are properly adhered to. Gaining comprehensive insight on self-care rituals, how informed patients are with regards to health-related practices, and the robust needs of consumers, can provide these manufacturers with the ammunition necessary for soliciting the help of the pharmacists, caregivers, and providers - especially when intervening is crucial to the health of the patient.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Spending Forecast

Since 2015, M&A activity has been trending upward; a strong contrast to the crippling reductions in M&A transactions following the 2008 financial crisis. According to EY’s 2017 M&A outlook report, 2016 enjoyed approximately $200 billion in transactions in the life sciences sector alone, with forecasters expecting 2017 to reach even more impressive heights.

Companies within the biotech and pharma industries are pioneering a large portion of the M&A growth due to the new patient-centric mindset. The trend has encouraged corporations to fuse their resources together in a strategic effort to penetrate new markets, expand their research of rare disorders, and increase the prospect of bringing new therapies to the marketplace sooner.

For the American economy, the life science space is projected to increase spending over the next year. There are a number of contributors to this prediction, including the surge in generic drugs and biosimilars, innovation in early detection technology, and the increasing availability of treatments for niche diseases. Companies in the medical device arena are also seeing this upward trend, with steady growth expected - a first for the industry since 2015. Many companies in the medical device space are investing more dollars in alternative procedures that use minimally invasive techniques. In addition, they are also making more cost-effective devices publically available, which is prompting industry-wide growth.

With the life science industry poised to thrive through the 2017 and 2018 years, there is no better time than now to align yourself with the right organization in this space. 


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