Providing a Snapshot of the Industry

Published on: 

CRB’s latest industry report includes an expanded audience to include many European countries, which has provided some interesting insights.

Towards the latter half of 2022 (on 27 Sep. 2022), CRB launched its Horizons: Life Sciences industry report, providing a snapshot of how the industry is doing and how it might progress (1). To create the report, CRB surveyed a wide selection of the top companies in the life sciences industry and then combined those views to create and overarching perspective into the status of the industry and future prospects.

The 2022 report marks the first one to include an expanded audience, as many European countries were also included in the survey, which has raised some interesting insights. To learn more about the report and the outcomes revealed, Pharmaceutical Technology Europe spoke with Peter Walters, Fellow—Advanced Therapies, CRB.

Upcoming challenges and opportunities

PTE: Based on the results of CRB’s latest report, what are the biggest challenges facing European pharma companies over the next five years?

Walters (CRB): Some of the biggest challenges reported by our European respondents were: attracting and retaining key talent—talent shortages are at a high right now, and companies are struggling to get the staff they need to progress forward; financing—strapped by investment issues worldwide, companies are being forced to scrutinize and optimize their spending a lot more than in the previous couple years; innovative technologies—European clients are facing a need for better, more effective technological solutions to their manufacturing challenges.

PTE: Where might the biggest opportunities lie for European pharma companies over the course of the next five years?

Walters (CRB): Attracting and retaining key staff is becoming critical within the life science industry. The continued evolution of therapy approaches, and the resultant needs for development and new technologies, means having the right staff to lead and drive your organisation. Building the right personnel foundation can make all the difference in your ability to move forward or get caught in a talent trap.

Global alignment?


PTE: How do the challenges and opportunities for European pharma line up with the rest of the world?

Walters (CRB): We received survey responses that showed much better global alignment than we anticipated. The report saw regulatory perception, including around global harmonization efforts, closely aligned. The report also saw close alignment around companies’ intentions for Pharma 4.0 and digitalization initiatives.

Pandemic impact

PTE: How has the COVID-19 pandemic shaped the European pharma landscape and what continuation of these changes should we expect to see over the next five years?

Walters (CRB): Financial constraints have become far more prevalent post-COVID. Companies are indicating they are still expecting company growth and expansion, but at a much more conservative, methodical pace than pre-COVID.

Taking part

PTE: When will the next report be scheduled and how can European companies be involved?

Walters (CRB): We are currently planning to publish a Horizons: Life Sciences report every year, so keep an eye out for the 2023 edition, most likely on shelves around Q4. For companies interested in specifically taking part in our industry survey, please reach out and we will do our best to incorporate them in our survey effort when that goes out.


1. CRB. Horizons: Life Sciences. Report. 27 Sep. 2022.

About the author

Felicity Thomas is the European/senior editor for Pharmaceutical Technology Group.