The biopharmaceutical industry is facing a multitude of challenges ranging from a shortage of appropriate workers to consumer spending constraints. Understanding these issues will help the sector to adapt and prepare for the years ahead.
Read on to discover the five major challenges facing biopharma.
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Business Practices Creeping In
With increased prominence and importance, the biopharmaceutical industry has inevitably started to move from the scientific end of the spectrum to the business side. This promises to put pressures on the industry such as maintaining competitiveness, driving growth and increasing profits.
There is a risk that this will deter scientists from their important work and the industry could lose sight of its purpose in creating life-saving and life-changing drugs.
Demand for Cheaper Products
Another challenge that the biopharmaceutical sector will need to grapple with in the short-term is wider economic stability, which is affecting its customers on a widespread scale.
Economic troubles are worsening poverty, and even the middle classes are feeling the pinch. The Covid-19 pandemic alone pushed nearly 100 million people into poverty.
Companies in the biopharma sphere will be affected by the financial pressures on their customers, aware that many will no longer be able to afford drugs which are vital for their health and wellness.
Biopharma will need to identify ways to reduce costs for consumers, while ensuring drugs still undergo the usual rigorous scrutiny before sale – which will be a challenge.
Future Pandemics Becoming More Likely
Covid-19 may have felt like a once-in-a-lifetime event, but unfortunately evidence doesn’t back that assessment. In fact, future pandemics are becoming more likely and more dangerous. Faster-spreading infections will kill more people.
Biopharma professionals engaging in biologics CDMO are aware of this concerning prediction and it’ll be a major future challenge for the sector. On the plus side, it offers companies a chance to innovate.
Meeting Growing Patient Needs
Despite the immense growth being experienced by biopharma in recent decades, its output grows each year too. Rising global populations are meaning more people are ill more often.
To meet the global demand for drugs, vaccines and medicines, the industry must expand at an ever-growing rate. During the Covid-19 pandemic, much of the biopharmaceuticals work was outsourced to meet demand, demonstrating the importance of expansion.
Skilled Labour Shortages
The biopharmaceutical sector is experiencing a deficit. The money being invested and growth being enjoyed is clear to see, but this expansion isn’t matched by the education system. Too few students are taking STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, which is leading to a skills shortage.
While artificial intelligence and automation processes are hiding the challenge for now, the matter of too few workers will soon impact heavily on the industry without governments stepping in to encourage more STEM uptake.
The Bottom Line
The biopharmaceutical industry is facing multiple challenges that will create future problems. A lack of suitable workers, the risk of more regular and dangerous pandemics and the demand for cheaper products are driving the challenges.
The best way to tackle these issues will be with an industry-wide approach, including the support of government and non-profit organisations, too.