The Future is Now: Consultants Spotlight
DIRE PREDICTIONS ABOUT the pharmaceutical industry have been made before. Indeed, they're made so often it's begun to resemble a chorus in a Greek tragedy: The industry is in trouble, really big trouble. The pipeline is dry, share value performance poor, sales and marketing spending on the rise, legal and regulatory constraints are tightening, and its image...well, think tobacco industry.
And yet everything stays the same.
Nonetheless, PricewaterhouseCooper's report on the state of the industry (issued last June) packs quite a wallop. Not so much because the information is new (it includes much of what the chorus has been saying all along), but like all good reportage it connects the dots. The picture that emerges is one of extraordinary paradox: A global industry that stands to double its profits to $1.3 trillion by 2020, but currently operates with a business model that is unsustainable. The conclusion: Change, or be part of the biggest missed-opportunity in the history of business.
The report, "Pharma 2020: The Vision Which Path Will You Take?" is co-authored by Steve Arlington and Anthony Farino, both partners at PricewaterhousCooper.
In an interview with Pharmaceutical Executive magazine, Arlington talked about how they fashioned the report and why.
"We tried to get a more balanced view-point of where the market was going," says Arlington. "Where the microeconomics were going first, and then take a perspective of how the industry was going to respond to market change.
"We did this deliberately because there's been a perspective in the industry that everyone from the outside is screaming 'Armageddon is happening.' And the viewpoint of a lot of senior guys inside the industry is 'You keep telling us this, but nothing changed.'"
Arlington says now it's not a matter of how the pharma will respond but when.
"One of the biggest changes from launching this report and all our previous ones," says Arlington, "is that the guys in the industry are suddenly no longer saying 'Nothing is going to happen.' Or at least 'Not on my watch.' Now the viewpoint is: 'It is going to happen on my watch,' or 'It might very well happen on my watch and we have to do stuff.' And so the time for thinking about this is now."
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