Connected clinical supply chain image


Using technology to boost clinical supply chain performance

How biopharma trends are raising the stakes for companies

The shift toward personalized medicine, greater drug portfolio complexity, and quicker clinical development is raising the stakes for companies trying to extract the most value from their research and development (R&D) investments. But are biopharma companies seeing an increased return on investment?

The imperative for change

After analyzing 12 large biopharma companies, we found that R&D spending on innovative new drugs is not producing a commensurate return on investment (ROI).

In 2018, the average cost of developing a new drug and bringing it to market topped $2.1 billion—up $362 million from 2017, and almost double the average cost in 2010, according to Deloitte’s most recent research.

The 12 companies' R&D spending grew by an average of 15 percent; however, their ROI fell from 10.1 percent in 2010 to 1.9 percent in 2018—the lowest percentage we have seen since we started tracking it.

To reverse ROI's downward trajectory, biopharma companies of all sizes are reorganizing their clinical operations and reconfiguring clinical trials to increase efficiency, reduce cost, and better connect with patients.

These actions are an important step forward; however, they may escalate cost pressures and create operational and regulatory challenges for companies' clinical supply chains, especially when viewed in the context of current industry trends including clinical supply traceability, regulatory complexity, growing reliance on external partners, unique and evolving requirements of next-generation cell/gene therapies, and increasing cost pressures. Some of these trends are disruptive to current practices: For example, cell and gene therapies, which often have a supply chain of one patient-one drug, create a potential future scenario where the clinical supply chain mirrors the production supply chain.

Five capabilities to improve clinical supply chain performance

Closing the digital maturity gap

Digital technologies, such as the ones mentioned above, can help transform how biopharma companies approach clinical supplies management by incorporating valuable insights from multiple sources of data, radically improving the patient experience, enhancing clinical trial productivity, and increasing the amount and quality of data collected in trials. So why aren’t more organizations incorporating technology-enabled capabilities into their clinical supply chain and other functions?

Capitalizing on specific opportunities requires a level of digital maturity—an overall strategy, culture of collaboration and experimentation, and supportive leadership—which many biopharma companies have not yet attained. Even the most advanced organizations are still piloting technologies in different areas, focusing on point solutions or new tools to support existing processes.

Our research and client experience suggest that understanding current clinical supply chain inefficiencies, identifying an organization’s digital maturity level, and focusing on specific capability needs can aid in deciding which technologies should be implemented, and in what order to move the process forward.

pills spilling

Hussain Mooraj
Deloitte Consulting LLP

Dan Silva
Senior Manager
Deloitte Consulting LLP

Joy Han
Deloitte Consulting LLP