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Stephanie Sutton was an assistant editor at Pharmaceutical Technology Europe.
The end of 2009 is creeping closer and analysts are already looking towards 2010 and wondering what new challenges are in store for the pharma industry.
The end of 2009 is creeping closer and analysts are already looking towards 2010 and wondering what new challenges are in store for the pharma industry. After the turbulent year of 2009, some may be relieved to know that analyst firm Ovum, part of the Datamonitor Group, believes that dramatic changes are unlikely.
“Indeed, there will be changes in 2010 brought on by the US healthcare reform, the pending patent cliff and new regulations, but nothing as drastic as a stock market crash or the fall of the banking industry,” predicts Ovum’s report 2010 Trends to Watch: Pharmaceuticals Technology.
In fact, unless any major changes are brought about by new US or European regulatory guidance or the Obama administration, Ovum pretty much expects the industry to remain status quo for the majority of the year. The trend for slow growth will continue, and cutting costs and reducing time-to-market will remain a priority, particularly with the impending patent cliff in 2011.
Perhaps that’s not great news for those hoping the industry will enter an upturn; however, the report believes the industry is moving in the right direction just by acknowledging the challenges it faces and implementing new strategies to move forward. Hopefully the industry will start to see some of the effects of these strategies in late 2010, with the full effects being realized during the next 5 years.
One key trend for the upcoming year will be the industry’s continued march to the new business model Pharma 2.0, which Ovum describes as “leaner, globalised entity whose increased scale is achieved ‘virtually’ rather than through accretion”. Pharma 2.0 will involve increasing the sharing of collaboration and knowledge between siloed departments and global organisations, which will make IT solutions integral.
IT and technology solutions will also become crucial in other aspects of the pharma industry. The Ovum report explained that genomic technologies and bioinformatics will promote innovative R&D, while eHealth technologies will also come in handy for the increasing collaborations between life sciences companies and healthcare organisations. In particular, IT and technology will have a huge impact on personalised medicine, which Ovum believes may very well shape the future of the life sciences industry. The report said: “As the personalized medicine research areas develop, so must the IT solutions that enable the research, thus moving the industry a step closer to providing the public with more effective medicines.”