While on the ferry between Manhattan and New Jersey, I struck up a conversation with a fellow traveler, an investment banker who follows the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, as it turns out. The first thing he told me was that the economy would turn around in September 2009—not too long to wait. The second thing he told me was that the rally would be led by the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, due specifically to all the new biopharmaceutical products that would be released on the market. The timetable seems a little tight, but the expectation for new biopharmaceutical products to reignite a stalled economy is hardly news to anyone who works in—or really follows—the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.
Surveys conducted in this magazine and by countless accounting firms, investment houses, and marketing outfits have for some time been predicting an economic boost from the development and sale of biopharmaceuticals. And even the most cursory walk around the exhibit hall of the Biotechnology International Organization's annual conference will reveal that a great many geographic regions—from US cities, counties, and states, to entire nations—are banking on biotechnology and its drug products to lift their economies out of the doldrums.
Over the past few years, other large industry trade shows traditionally devoted to the science of small-molecule drug manufacturing have increasingly added tracks addressing the needs of biopharmaceutical manufacturers. Equipment manufacturers are increasingly expanding their productive offerings to include equipment and consumables geared toward biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Clearly, it's not just investment bankers that expect growth in this sector of the pharmaceutical industry.Given all of the gathering interest in large-molecule drug manufacturing, we at Pharmaceutical Technology thought it high time to survey our readers involved in some aspect of biopharmaceutical manufacturing to learn more about the products they produce, the equipment they use, and the challenges they encounter. The following is a summary of the results to our survey questions from respondents, representing the roughly 41% of our readers engaged in the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals. The values given are 95% accurate to within 6.3 percentage points plus or minus.
Products and processes