Pharma Never Dies

Jan 01, 2013

Adeline Siew
Happy New Year! It's the beginning of another year in this digital age where science and technology continue to advance with leaps and bounds. And one can't help but ask, what awaits pharma in 2013?

In answer to that question, we are confronted with various challenges in our individual projects and the evolving macro-environment of the industry. As an ex-scientist at the School of Pharmacy, University of London, where I earned a doctorate in pharmaceutics and drug delivery, I can fully appreciate the technical aspects involved in working to resolve problems in solubility and bioavailability, finding ways to enhance the delivery of therapeutics to targeted sites without causing detrimental effects on healthy cells, and developing stable formulations with favourable pharmacokinetic profiles. The real challenge, however, is resolving these issues in an increasingly cost-constrained marketplace.

There is an escalating demand for medicines that are not only safe and effective, but that are also of good value, especially now that healthcare payers and governments have begun putting pricing pressure and cost constraints on new therapies. R&D pipelines, however, appear to be running dry with innovation on the decline and productivity hitting a plateau during the past decade. Drug development has evolved into a long and hard journey that is both costly and risky as we hear of more drugs failing in Phase III. On top of that, the industry is forced to confront its nemesis, the patent cliff, which sees blockbusters trampled by fiercely competitive generic drugs.

Yet, despite the gloomy outlook, the global pharmaceutical market is growing at a steady pace, even under such unfavourable economic circumstances. Sales reached $1.08 trillion in 2011 and, although the figures for 2012 have not yet been released, Business Monitor International projects that the market for medicines could be worth nearly $1.60 trillion by 2020. Indeed, pharma has proven its resilience time and time again, and should be commended for overcoming the many obstacles hurled at it, from tighter regulations and healthcare reforms, to more challenging market conditions and rising customer expectations. As an industry, it is still regarded as one of the strongest and wealthiest players of the global economy.

Whatever the future may hold, Pharmaceutical Technology Europe is committed to bringing you the latest trends and developments that shape the changing landscape of the global pharma industry, whether it's the rise of biologics, the new era of generics or advances in drug delivery, formulation and testing. So bring it on, 2013!

Best Wishes,

Adeline Siew
Editor of Pharmaceutical Technology Europe

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