The Bio-Pharmaceutical industry is a dynamic and growth oriented sector of the US and international economy. The industry accounts for close to 17% of all US corporate R+D, while it added $1.2 trillion to the economy in 2014. The industry has had significant successes. Pharmaceuticals have greatly reduced the impact of cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, blood borne cancers and numerous infectious diseases globally. Yet, new health care challenges continue to crop up (See: "COVID-19"). The incidence and fatality rate of solid organ cancers remains high and for some types of cancers, continues to increase. Mental health care has made little progress in decades, and a high percentage of the population remain untreated, while Alzheimer's disease and other forms of senile dementia consume enormous resources at the end of life (See: "Possible therapies of Parkinson’s disease: A review"). Thus, new pharmaceuticals are needed to continue to improve the quality of life and to reduce the economic burden of aging.
Unlike many industries where consumers or businesses are directly responsible for the cost of goods, the bio-pharmaceutical industry has evolved a unique business model, where insurance companies now provide the bulk of payments for products. Other factors in the evolution in the industry include increased governmental involvement leading to the expansion of generic products/companies and the establishment of managed care as an additional force in the pricing of drug products. The bargaining power of the paying organizations has put increased pressure on the bio-pharmaceutical industry, and metrics found in European health care systems such as quality adjusted life years (QALY) are beginning to impact US companies.
The past 50 years have witnessed frequent and important trends that presage what the future will bring. In the 1970's and 80's traditional pharmaceutical companies began to enter the over-the-counter market as a way of maintaining sales of prescription products about to lose their patent protection. The next two decades witnessed the expansion and importance of biotechnology companies and innovative medications (e.g., biologics). The larger pharmaceutical companies acquired many of these smaller firms in order to maintain their dominance of the health-care product market.
Today, bio-pharmaceutical companies are dealing with a number of challenges and opportunities that will determine their future success or failure. Commercial and scientific challenges include:
It is fair to assume that a host of other issues will also shape the future of the industry. Understanding the competitive, scientific, and regulatory landscape will be essential for companies to ensure their success. Nanotech Plus, LLC can help.