Life Sciences & Pharma
L.E.K. Consulting’s Look at Key Trends in Pharma Services for 2023
From emerging biotechs to pharmaceutical giants, healthcare and life sciences clients face a range of challenges. Here are the three that dominate today, according to L.E.K.’s Adrienne Rivlin.
My name's Adrienne Rivlin. I'm a partner in L.E.K.'s global healthcare and life sciences strategy practice, and I help clients with their most significant commercialization issues.
I help healthcare and life sciences clients across the value chain from the smallest emerging biotechs to the largest global top 10 pharma companies. The types of services that I usually provide my clients are anything from transaction services, so typically M&A advisory to commercialization projects, helping clients launch their products, getting the best possible price and access for them. And also thinking through everything required to achieve the best success across the life cycle, right through to patent loss, end of exclusivity and when that product then becomes generalized.
My clients are facing a range of challenges and some really tricky ones, but here are my top three. Firstly, innovation. Innovation is needed by all of the healthcare and life sciences industry to survive and indeed thrive. Innovation can come from a number of places, usually from in-house R&D, and indeed acquired externally, usually from M&A.
Secondly, market access and pricing. It's really important that pharma companies especially are reimbursed fairly for the products that they've spent, in some cases tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars developing. But at the same time, healthcare economies around the world need to operate sustainably and we need to keep healthcare cost inflation in check. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is thinking through how this can be a win-win situation for all stakeholders. Both for the pharma companies that have spent a huge amount of money and taken a huge amount of risk in developing these products and bringing them to market, but equally for economies around the world so that they get the best value possible and that, that cost is sustainably achieved.
The third critical challenge that my clients are facing is the war for talent. All businesses want to attract the best possible talent that they can and this is no different in the healthcare and life sciences industries. Of course, one of the main issues is excellence in science. So all of our clients are looking for the best possible scientists that they can. But interestingly, there are some new attributes that are becoming equally as important. For example, the ESG agenda is really coming to the fore, and so my clients are increasingly asking for talent with expertise in areas like the environment, sustainability and governance issues. In one example some clients of ours have been particularly interested in understanding sustainability issues related to their supply chain. So plastics manufacturing within medicines, for example. Finding the right talent that can answer those questions with experience in pharma is going to prove critical in the years ahead.