New dynamics of the pharmaceutical oncology market

Five questions to shape your strategy


Amid projected growth, the pharmaceutical oncology market is undergoing significant change. Pharma companies active in oncology are now in a race to harness new data sources and digital platforms so they can engage patients, providers and regulators more effectively. With the debate over drug costs continuing, companies will have to prove their value in an evolving landscape that demands transparency.

A growing market

The oncology market is significant and compelling for both human and business reasons. Simple projections of demand, as measured by prevalence across tumor types, suggest there will be approximately 18 million patients in the US alone by 2020, a 31% increase from 13.8 million in 2010. Global spending on therapeutic and supportive care for cancer is expected to rise from US$133 billion in 2017 to as much as $200 billion in 2022, at which point it will account for roughly 14% of total global medical expenditure. The current pharmaceuticals pipeline is disproportionately focused on cancer. Of the 15,267 assets across all phases of development, about 34% are oncolytics, up from 30% in 2013. The growth in the industry has the potential to have a positive impact on the quality of life of millions of patients. 

But these projections may not result in windfalls for current participants. The market will grow, to be sure, but not nearly as fast as these top-down analyses suggest. In fact, there are several factors that we believe will significantly constrain growth and that could inhibit the ability to improve patient outcomes at scale. 


Building a Durable Strategy in Oncology

In order to ensure that they share in the growth that does materialise and contribute to the search for cures and meaningful treatments, companies in the oncology pharmaceutical sector will have to think strategically in several dimensions. As in all therapeutic markets, oncology companies must invest simultaneously in capabilities that match the market’s natural evolution – what we call ‘table stakes’ investments – and in capabilities that clearly differentiate a firm relative to its peers. Given the size of the canvas, and the forces that are transforming the environment, it can be challenging to know where to begin. We believe that answering the following five questions will help companies focus their efforts amid a changing and dynamic environment. 

  1. How do I harness new sources of data and insight to power my clinical research and improve patient outcomes? 
  2. How can I use digital platforms to create new relationships, conversations and interactions with my customers? 
  3. How do I navigate a changing provider landscape to gain access to both academic medical centers and patient volume? 
  4. How do I demonstrate value to payers, providers and patients? 
  5. How can I deploy commercial engagement model innovation simultaneously to strengthen my competitive position and better meet the changing needs of my customer base? 

Download the report to read more on the five questions and why it is urgent for executives to have clear, comprehensive strategies to succeed and demonstrate value.  

Contact us

William Suvari

Principal, PwC United States

Follow us

Contact us

Ron Chopoorian

Ron Chopoorian

US Deals Leader, Partner, PwC United States

Peter Kartscher

Peter Kartscher

Global Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Assurance Leader, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 79 5429018

Charlotte Richardson

Charlotte Richardson

Global Health Industries Tax Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7793 580784