Knowledge & Insight

A Review of the Life Sciences Sector

Thu 5 February 2015

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have coped with the global economic downturn better than most other sectors. Growth is being driven by socio-demographic factors, technological advances and an increase in a variety of chronic medical conditions. Yet the impact of national austerity budgets, rising costs and under-pressure healthcare systems is placing new pressures on the life sciences industry. And as growth in emerging markets begins to slow, some of the more optimistic forecasts of 5 years ago begin to appear questionable.

Healthcare reform

Companies in the life sciences sector today face a range of challenges, including adapting to regulatory change, harnessing the power of technological innovation to deliver greater value, and coping with aggressive infringement of intellectual property rights. Yet perhaps the most pressing challenge is to respond to the healthcare reforms sweeping countries like the UK, US, China, Brazil and Germany.

Rising to the challenge

Knowing how to respond is a major challenge, as is developing the ability to implement effective action and deliver positive change. So global healthcare reform presents a significant challenge for the industry. Yet for some firms, it’s an opportunity too, and those companies that partner with specialist life science headhunters and life science executive search firms will be best-placed to recruit talented executives and senior managers who can successfully navigate through a rapidly evolving landscape.

Global outlook

A recent paper by Deloitte (2014 Global life sciences outlook) examines the factors driving healthcare demand, and it predicts that, supported by the introduction of new therapies, the global pharmaceutical market will continue to grow at an average annual rate of over 5%. China and India will be the strongest of the emerging markets, yet greater uncertainty around the long-term economic performance of other major nations introduces significant risk factors.

Success in a changing marketplace

Life sciences firms must recognise what success looks like in a changing marketplace, which means deconstructing the objectives of healthcare reform. Typically, governments seek to lower costs, accelerate innovation, and ultimately to improve choice and access. So this provides a broad template for firms to follow. Engaging with a life sciences executive search firm allows companies to acquire fresh talent, and to recruit dynamic professionals who are unbound by the old constraints – people who can find new ways to deliver.

Life sciences executive search

Faced with this array of challenges, acquiring and retaining leading talent will be a critical success factor over the next ten years. As specialist life sciences headhunters, Stone Executive has a wealth of experience and broad connections in the sector. Our team of seasoned life science headhunters work with all the major players in the UK and beyond, together with a great many niche firms. As a well-respected life sciences executive search firm, we have a strong track-record of meeting the most challenging of assignments and delivering value for all our clients and candidates.

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