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2022 Global Life Sciences Outlook

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With their prominent role in drug pricing and access to medicines, life sciences companies face unique challenges, and the pandemic has only heightened this focus. Many life sciences pharmaceuticals have witnessed scientific breakthroughs even during these unprecedented times over the last couple of years. Data-driven approaches across the value chain, digital transformation, increased collaboration, and CEO priorities are driving change. There is now a new standard for business, and companies are willing to go the extra mile to solve the most difficult problems. 

Our 2022 Global Life Sciences Outlook analyzes the sector’s current state, explores seven industry trends, and prepares stakeholders to capitalize on the numerous opportunities created by the pandemic. Forward-thinking businesses will adopt a think-digital-to-be-digital mindset in the coming year, considering how these technologies can augment human capabilities and update process execution.  

Increasing R&D productivity and promoting industry collaboration  

To increase productivity in R&D, many life sciences pharmaceuticals show a “need for speed.” Because of COVID-19, new processes previously used to accelerate the development of vaccines and therapeutic products have been adopted to develop other drugs. To meet unmet needs and stay ahead of the competition, life sciences pharmaceuticals expect to advance scientific breakthroughs and manufacture innovative products. 

Changes brought about by the pandemic are ushering in a new era of clinical trials. In 2022, the emphasis will be on optimizing processes to change the drug development paradigm fundamentally. Industry leaders stand to gain better research results, fewer failed trials, and more trust from physicians and patients by making the clinical trial process more convenient for enrollment and participation.

Improving the Patient Experience

The global pandemic has made providing better patient care more important. It has quickened the adoption of digital and virtual health, providing more of what patients have requested—convenient and consumer-friendly health care. Transforming clinical trials and patient services, on the other hand, frequently needs catching up to other consumer experiences in the healthcare ecosystem. Today’s clinical SAS programming service has raised the bar, and patient centricity has taken on new meaning. 

It’s time to collaborate with patients in 2022 fully. Life sciences pharmaceuticals and stakeholders should cultivate longer-term patient relationships rather than short-term ones. The patient should be treated as a partner throughout the treatment process to understand their disease better, collect long-term effectiveness and safety data, and improve care outcomes. Organizations that reimagine their business models and prioritize the consumer-patient are more likely to succeed in transforming the care journey.                                                                                                                    

Changing the talent experience

The COVID-19 pandemic has forever altered society’s perception of work. Organizations are now rethinking the workspace as a virtual space where team members gather digitally to solve problems and achieve organizational goals. Many organizations are re-architecting their digital workplace to more effectively support a higher level of synchronous on-site and remote work, but there are still challenges. Because of the pandemic, some employees have felt isolated with remote work, and waves of people have quit their jobs, adding to the problem. Many businesses will continue to struggle with how to address these issues in the coming year.  

How are life sciences pharmaceuticals transforming the “Great Resignation” into an opportunity for a “Great Re-imagination”? Success will need a new distributed work model, diverse culture, collaboration, and co-location.

Regulatory: Controlling Outside Forces

The pandemic has had a lasting impact on the life sciences pharmaceuticals’ regulatory landscape, owing to widespread collaboration, cooperation, and information sharing. The speed with which COVID-19 vaccines were developed and approved through quick regulatory processes was remarkable, and despite the speed, the focus remained on safety and effectiveness. 

During the pandemic, actions by governments, regulators, and organizations accelerated product innovation and increased the adoption of new technologies and processes. In the coming year, regulators are expected to continue embracing digital technologies and sharing global research to improve real-world evidence’s data integrity.

Scaled-up Digital Enterprise

While COVID-19 has accelerated digital innovation over the last two years, CEOs are confident that it will continue in the coming years. However, many executives in life sciences pharmaceuticals believe that a better digital innovation strategy is still needed. 

Companies must scale digitalization both within and outside the organization to produce novel insights through DX partnerships for a more holistic and enterprise digital transformation (DX) in the life sciences sector. These businesses must invest in agility, analytics, and automation. Tools are unlikely to deliver digitalization’s full value without a strategic data use plan. And as life science pharmaceutical executives address the need to take risks and make investments that will allow for faster innovation, they may consider advancing digital innovation to stay ahead of the competition.  

Future-proofing manufacturing, operations, and the supply chain

Many transformation initiatives start with reimagining the operating model, and digital industrial transformation starts with strategy, which includes redesigning talent, transforming processes, and retooling technology. The ongoing scenario needs not only risk mitigation but also future-proofing manufacturing and supply chains. 

In the coming year, life sciences pharmaceuticals that deploy advanced data analytics capabilities and make the necessary investments to improve their global supply chains will likely gain a sustainable competitive advantage and build stability. Businesses that become product-driven should be in the best position to survive in the short term and thrive in the long term by 2022. 

Environmental, Social, and Governance                                                      

Environmental and climate change impacts are seen as a growing financial risk in terms of a company’s exposure to impacts and their contribution to increased global warming. Companies must measure and report on the results of their ESG efforts to live up to the enterprise’s purpose. The temptation to be seen as ethical can be strong, as this may drive profitability. However, bad data and communication risks remain, even if unintentional. 

Building trust is an important step toward demonstrating the true value life sciences pharmaceuticals and the rest of the healthcare ecosystem bring to society while remaining accountable to shareholders and stakeholders. When it comes to a company’s ESG progress, investors and other capital market participants are raising their expectations, and boards are expected to respond.

Final Words

As life sciences executives address the need for increased investment and risk-taking in 2022, digital technology and AI are expected to collaborate to change the status quo and transform functional areas and value streams.

Work with Element Technologies Inc. to develop an effective clinical data management strategy. Do you have a query? Please reach us at info@elementtechnologies.com. We’d be happy to talk about potential opportunities to collaborate.

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