Covid-19: Impact and Recovery for the Life Sciences Industry

The Life Sciences industry in Ireland continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, an unparalleled situation. Globally, the sector is collectively working on developing vaccines and treatments, and ramping up the production of new diagnostic devices, ventilators and pumps. Vaccines and antivirals will take time to move through trial phases before ultimately being granted approval from regulatory bodies. Although at-scale production and distribution is not likely for 12 to 18 months after a successful trial, these vaccines would provide a critical element in the armamentarium against COVID-19. As the industry moves slowly into the recover and thrive phase, a central challenge for all these innovations will be rapidly scaling up production to meet global needs.

“Over-the-counter” (OTC) medications and sanitising products
Consumer health divisions of Life Sciences companies are already seeing more demand as consumers stock up on “over-the-counter” (OTC) medications and sanitising products. In the longer term, there may well be an impact as consumer interest rises in products that support wellbeing, hygiene and health. In China, staying healthy remains a top priority for consumers who are generally more conscious of hygiene and healthy eating, and are now further adopting technology-enabled smart health. Nielsen found that 90%, 93% and 77% of respondents to a recent survey of Chinese mainland consumers have already purchased or plan to buy air purifiers, water purifiers or smart fitness bracelets, respectively. During this period, there is likely to be a noticeable shift in customer purchase behaviour as online shopping becomes the main channel for businesses to sell their products.

As the world attempts to recover and return to a post-COVID normal, we anticipate the most significant impacts for the Life Sciences industry will be felt in the following areas:

  • Manufacturing and supply chain disruptions
  • Increased use of digital technologies

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