The trends in the pharma industry

01 January 2019

Future Pharma

Just like most industries, the biotechnological and pharmaceutical industry have gone through massive changes. Enormous amounts of R&D expenditures enables these industries to create and use things that were unthinkable a couple of years ago. But, what are these trends in the pharma industry?

Personalisation of medicine

Back in the day, the main target group of the pharmaceutical industry were doctors. After this period, the focus went to insurance companies. But now, a third era is starting, the era of the consumers. There is a good reason for this trend. More and more people are showing interest in the drug industry, mainly because of a growing focus on individual medicines. Nowadays, drugs are developed to treat very specific diseases. For example, some cancer treatments are specifically developed for each patient. This makes it that the consumer experience feels personalised. When this industry continues to develop personal treatment, the costumer base will  increase with consumers outnumbering doctors and insurance companies. This makes the personalisation of medicine one of the most important trends in the pharma industry.

Artificial Intelligence

There is not a single person in the world who would be able to remember all the medical studies ever performed. Luckily, computers can, and luckily, computers can be used in decision processes. IBM has created a super computer named ‘Watson’, and Watson has already been tested and used in decision making processes. Furthermore, companies like Johnson & Johnson, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline are investing in AI. Experts within the industry expect that artificial intelligence will deliver new drugs significantly faster and cheaper than nowadays. Compared to the personalisation of medicine, this trend in the pharma industry is further away, but still something to keep in mind.


In order to thrive in this increasingly competitive market, companies must collaborate to be able to develop new products, services and solutions. Luckily, over the past few years, pharmaceutical companies started to realise that recognising the expertise that is available in the industry, will have a positive effect on everyone.

Pfizer for example, partnered with IBM to use Watson, their supercomputer. This saves Pfizer huge amounts of time on research. Collaborating with technological companies like IBM is just one example for the pharmaceutical industry to safe time and money on research for treatments that turn out to be not viable.

Trends in the pharma industry are beneficial

There is no doubt that the pharmaceutical industry is changing heavily, and on all levels. The target group is changing, the technology is innovating and even the sector itself. Eventually, these changes could be beneficial for everyone, from industry leaders to the consumers.

Image by  Antiv/ Shutterstock


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