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Pharma CEOs See Opportunity Ahead

October 17th, 2016
pharma ceo survey"Pharma's future have never looked more promising -- or more ominous." That cautionary statement topping the front page of the last report in PWC's Pharma 2020 series could still stand today as a summary of the entire pharmaceuticals and life sciences industry.

PWC's most recent survey of the CEOs of 87 of the largest pharmaceutical companies found optimism about the growth of their individual revenues  as well as with the developments and innovations that the trend to partnering with other companies will bring.

Offering an example, the survey report quotes Gary Pruden, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices, explaining, “We have a partnership with IBM in orthopaedics, where we’re looking at how to use big data to achieve better solutions. We have a partnership with Google in surgical robotics.”

The use of data and analytics is a trend that has been underway for several years, but is becoming more sophisticated as pharmaceutical and life sciences firms continue to expand their digital understanding. "The sector is increasingly using a wide range of digital tools to support everything from drug discovery, development and testing to outcome tracking," notes the report.

However, the CEOs worry most about industry regulation and the impact of foreign exchange rates on earnings and revenue. Not far behind, 76% say the shortage of skilled talent is a major threat to their growth. To become more attractive and improve their retention of employees, 43% of "pharma CEOs are changing their talent strategy around their reputation as ethical and socially responsible employers," says the report, which was published before the recent black eye the industry received over huge price increases by some drug companies.

Despite those challenges, and others, 69% pharma CEOs say there are more growth opportunities for their business today than there were three years ago.

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