Deloitte Global Life Sciences Outlook: In an uncertain market, connection and innovation remain key in 2017

News Release

  • Global pharma sales to total US$1.2 trillion in 2020; growth across all regions
  • Connecting with consumers and innovation among top trends influencing the sector

NEW YORK, NY, USA, 12 January, 2017—Life sciences companies have always operated in a world of uncertainty, yet the sector is poised for growth, influenced by global health care expenditures and clinical and operational innovation, according to Deloitte Global’s 2017 Global Life Sciences Outlook: Thriving in today’s uncertain market released today. Still, entering 2017, companies of all sizes and in all segments could face challenges, including cost pressures, health care reform, economic fluidity, and political instability.

“Marketplace uncertainty continues to place pressure on life sciences companies heading into the new year, and there are key trends that leaders must fully understand and leverage to successfully navigate this disruption,” said Gregory Reh, Deloitte Global Life Sciences Sector Leader. “Organizations have an opportunity to capitalize on these trends to benefit their clinical, financial, and operational plans for 2017 and beyond.”

Companies in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, generics and biosimilars, medical technology, and wholesale distribution can continue to focus on achieving profitable and sustainable growth by considering the lasting implications of five critical trends. 

  • Manging cost & pricing: Some assert that the pressure to reduce cost and prove value will be the greatest challenge facing life sciences companies in 2017. Macro-economic trends including health reform, economic fluidity, and political instability continue to exert downward pressure even as the costs of bringing a new medicine to market have never been higher.
  • Driving clinical innovation: Soaring R&D expenditures, increasing pricing pressures, and heightened scrutiny by regulators are posing serious challenges to innovation, yet emerging technologies have the potential to propel R&D investment forward worldwide. For example, blockchain technology can drive innovation, strengthen security efforts, and increase life sciences company and industry accountability.
  • Connecting with customers & consumers: The increase in data and information access, mobile applications, and personal health devices, has accelerated consumer engagement to levels higher than ever before. Life sciences companies which leverage digital and analytic capabilities to gather data and monitor outcomes, improve treatment regimen compliance, and increase product utilization may be significanty advantaged in the new, customer-centered, digital ecosystem.
  • Transforming business & operating models: With multiple paths to transformation, life sciences companies are leveraging unique methods to achieve quality, cost, and efficiency goals. In particular, collaborative product development, M&A, and portfolio and operational restructuring cancontinue to provide companies with strategic opportunities for growth.
  • Meeting regulatory compliance: As a key player in one of the world’s most regulated environments, life sciences companies in 2017 will need to focus on cybersecurity, drug and device safety, counterfeit drugs, IP protection, and corruption.

In addition to providing an overview and outlook on the five market segments, this report outlines key stakeholder considerations to help life sciences companies successfully adapt, innovate, and grow.

“As technology influences all facets of life sciences, companies need to shift from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to a more cross-functional, collaborative model that understands how consumers engage with technology,” added Reh. “It will be essential for organizations to react to sector trends and capitalize on key areas shaping its future for sustained growth in 2017 and beyond.”


Stephen Soyland
Global Communications
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited
Tel: +1 212 492 4503

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