The environment in which Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences companies operate is increasingly challenging, being driven by a more and more demanding healthcare agenda. The global need for innovative, cost effective medicines continues to rise whilst regulators , payers, health care providers and patients are demanding greater value for money, proven effectiveness of products, more transparency and access to information. To meet these demands companies are seeking ways to improve R&D productivity, increase the efficiency of its operations, rationalise spending on sales and marketing and enhance financial performance. Pharma 2020: The vision , Pharma 2020: Virtual R&D ,Pharma 2020: Marketing the future, Pharma 2020: Challenging business models, Pharma 2020: Taxing times ahead and Pharma 2020: Supplying the future

Working closely with our clients, ranging from small entrepreneurial life science companies to large global corporations, we aim to achieve increased performance by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of a company’s key business operations.

Across the whole Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences value chain, PwC's trusted consultants and professional advisors use their wealth of industry based experience, knowledge and expertise to help our clients evaluate their strategic business options, improve management and control, and identify cost saving initiatives.

Our service areas include:


A combination of regulatory, market, scientific, and technological forces is likely to mean that pharmaceutical manufacturing will undergo rapid change in the next five to ten years. Many companies are already investing in change projects, but they are often piecemeal and not accompanied by a clear manufacturing vision. The absence of such a vision also means that companies sometimes feel caught between ‘big leap’ and more incremental changes. In fact, incremental change is vital to achieve a longer term 'big leap.' But, in the absence of a manufacturing vision, companies find themselves with no roadmap. The consequence is that changes are made in relative isolation without maximising their potential incremental contribution to longer term improvement or, worse, moving the company further away from the manufacturing it will need in the future. There is a need for companies to more consistently align investment in IT and manufacturing with their vision of the manufacturing that will be needed in the future. In doing so, companies will be able to ensure that investments don't just deliver specific gains, but also help accelerate the company's progress toward longer term goals. We can help companies achieve the change required and their goals by utilising our firm's in-depth industry expertise.

Supply chain & distribution

Today companies are concerned about the cost and efficiency of thier supply chain. Increasingly pharmaceutical companies are seeking to outsourcemanufacturing and distribution to countries like China and India. However for the newer technologies such as biologics this may not be possible due to the complexity of the manufacturing and delivery processes. We work with our clients to help them identify options at an early stage of the business and product planning process. We work with them to understand the potential risks , find solutions and identify the appropriate overseas partners to help them reduce costs or gain entry in to new markets.

As science moves the industry from a 'one size fits all' approach to care, to one of segmentation, personalisation and wellness, so the supply chain will need to evolve. The successful supply chain of the future is one built around flexibility, responsiveness and reliability - shifting the supply paradigm from costly make to stock to efficient make to order. Supply chains will offer the techniques to commission and decommission supply chains at the touch of a button, to rapidly service new products and markets. The supply chain of the future will offer alternate supply models to match shifts in the provision of care – direct to consumer rather than via the wholesaler/pharmacist. It will promote the use of advanced product design and packaging techniques to drive patient compliance and protect Intellectual Property and the adoption of inventory tracking tools to eliminate counterfeit product and parallel importing risks.

The supply chain of the future will provide these capabilities with lower transaction costs and with much reduced capital expenditure. The rise of the virtual supply model, the selection of best or breed partners, will allow the supply chain to develop a catalogue of services driving the transition from order processor to strategic enabler of the business – a partner fully aligned and integrated into the broader business and driven by the evolving requirements of the end consumer – the patient.

Commercial operations

In the current environment of poor product pipelines and broader customer bases, the traditional sales and marketing model of driving revenue with ever larger sales forces is no longer sustainable. Rather organisations will evolve to become more efficient and deliver differentiated effective messages tailored the specific needs of diverse customer segments including patients, insurers, government and physicians, and the changes on product mix. PwC can work with you in targeting sales and marketing resources accordingly to the customer needs and the relevant regulations (compliance), avoiding components that are not helping to maximise the return on invesment; improving the division of roles between the headquarters and local maketing companies with redefinition of planning and communication systems that work effectively between global, regional and marketing affiliates. To read more... Pharma 2020: Marketing the future.

Corporate and financial strategy

The Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences industries are at a pivotal point in their evolution. Companies and stakeholders are looking for new sustainable business models for the longer term. Strategic options include vertical integration versus virtual company, generic versus innovative product manufacturer, traditional medicines versus biologics, makers of medicines versus provider of health care packages. These companies are addressing important questions about existing and future revenue generation, and how to align operational and financial tactics to enable their chosen corporate strategy. We are working with our clients to explore strategic options and begin the process today of restructuring their business for tomorrow. We help to identify those areas with the most realistic potential and devise and review pragmatic business plans that maximise value. We know the difficult decisions and trade-offs that executives face when managing their businesses, allocating resources or contemplating deals. We know the traps of large and small company cultures.Mergers, acquisitions and licensing are vital enablers to corporate strategy. Most companies will use some form of equity or debt finance to fund future plans, Life Science companies often use private equity or an initial public offering (IPO). Whatever the new venture, buying at the price, integrating the different elements, and ensuring tax efficiencies through out is key to ensure maximum value. We help to develop a corporate finance strategy, which will appropriately raise and structure the finance needed to support operational changes, and the future strategy of the company.

Information Technology

Technology is an important enabler of business transformation. In the Pharmaceutical and Life. Sciences industry new technologies will enable greater understanding of disease, reduce costs in R&D, manufacturing, and the supply chain. Technology will also encourage closer relationships with regulators, payers, providers and patients through a more integrated approach to product development and marketing and health provision through greater transparency and sharing of information across companies, and with third parties including industry regulators and potentially patients in the future.

Together with our clients, we use a combination of industry and technology expertise to develop process improvements that assist you in getting value from technology investments, We bring knowledge in IT strategy, IT architecture and design, enterprise applications, sourcing, project management and IT operations management as well as experience of our professional advisors who have worked within R&D, Supply chain and manufacturing within the industry.

Regulatory and compliance environment

The Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences industries are among the most heavily regulated industries in the world. The regulatory environment is continuously changing in response to the effects of globalisation and harmonisation, emerging markets, increasing complexity of disease targets, introduction of new technologies and the rising sophistication and demands of both patients and regulators.

Yet adherence to regulatory requirements is vital to both a company's and the industry's reputation. Keeping pace with changing regulation requires good processes and procedures which ensure adherence and enable effective global, national and local management. We work with our clients to audit and develop management systems which enable greater transparency across the firm, inform the development of new approaches to a broad range of regulatory compliance, risk management procedures and help improve performance.

However, increasingly firms recognise the need for a new approach. Companies and regulators will need to work more closely together on the future development of rules and regulations for both obtaining market approval and ensuring products remain on the market. Whilst today much of the dialogue between industry and regulators is around safety, efficacy and value for money; in future the discussion will be about providing total health care solutions, improving patient compliance, earlier access to medicines through shortened development cycles, and product development risk sharing arrangements.

Research and development

As the industry faces a whole host of individual yet challenging issues, it is difficult to see how best to navigate the immediate and long term future. How best to deal with an increasing R&D spend which results in fewer approvals than ever before; increasing numbers of products coming off patent which requires the pipeline to be filled with candidates which are likely not just to make it to market but also provide an adequate return on investment and provide replacement revenues to sustain growth; ever increasing R&D complexity and a vast number of new technologies to harness; how best to move away from the blockbuster model towards launching many more drugs with individually smaller revenues while reducing the number of line extensions and "me too" drugs; where to locate new R&D facilities and whether relocate existing ones in order to balance skills with costs. Overcoming such challenges can seem overwhelming and internal resources may be insufficient or already over-stretched to be able to come up with new strategies and business practices to succeed in this changing environment. To read more... Pharma 2020: Virtual R&D

We work closely with our clients to help formulate a new strategy for success and achieve increased performance by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the company’s R&D operations. Our advisors have a wealth of industry based R&D experience and expertise with a deep understanding of finance, tax, risk management/compliance, IT systems, operations and human resources, we help our clients evaluate their R&D Strategy & Portfolio Management, improve management and control, and identify cost saving initiatives.

Contact us

Mike Swanick
Global Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences leader
Tel: +1 (267) 330 6060

Douglas Strang
Global Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences Advisory leader
Tel: +1 (267) 330 3045

Erik Bouwman
Global Tax Chief Operating Officer
Tel: +31 (0) 88 792 63 22

Peter Kartscher
Global Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences Assurance Leader
Tel: +972 3 795 4410

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