Pharmaceuticals

Our perspective

Over the last 25 years, the global pharmaceutical industry has made revolutionary contributions to clinical care. The industry now faces the challenges of unpredictable product pipelines, increasingly competitive markets, and uncertain policy and regulatory environments. Despite ongoing medical need related to many diverse diseases, pharmaceutical companies—much like medical technology companies—can no longer depend on their innovation engines and pricing power to achieve profitable growth.

The net result of ongoing cost pressures and a precipitous decline in R&D productivity will be an unprecedented decline in the share of the overall healthcare profit pool captured by the largest research-based pharmaceutical companies, while lower-margin sectors, like generic manufacturers, will increase their share. The critical question for these companies is how to evolve their business model in order to thrive in a world of shifting profit pools by focusing on outcomes rather than by simply generating more inputs—more products, more procedures and ultimately more cost to the payers.

What we do

Bain works with leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies to help create the foundations for future growth and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their current business operations. We help our clients become the future market leaders by focusing on the priorities that will make them agile and adaptable to attractive market opportunities, including:

  • Enhancing innovation and clinical differentiation. Pharma companies can realize the full potential of their R&D and innovation capabilities by building portfolios that balance solid investments with riskier product development and source innovation from both internal and external sources.
  • Expanding beyond the core. As growth in core businesses begins to slow down, pharma companies may be tempted to consider adjacent markets for growth. Rather than follow the herd, leading players will identify and develop hidden assets in areas where they share customers, share costs or have overlapping capabilities.
  • Adopting cost-effective business models. Pharma companies need to change their business models to significantly increase their return on sales. A radical redesign of all processes with a zero-based budgeting approach can help change preconceived notions of how things have been done before.
  • Exploiting the true benefits of global scale while managing complexity. Industry consolidation has created massive scale across the value chain. Successful pharma companies will discriminate between functions where scale adds value versus where it reduces productivity and adds complexity.
  • Ensuring deal health with post-merger advice. Successful healthcare companies avoid the pitfalls that can undercut an acquisition by tailoring the integration thesis to the deal thesis, integrating where it matters, acting quickly to create value for shareholders and setting a high-growth trajectory.
Insights
We develop insights that work for our clients. Our approach and recommendations are highly customized and lead to practical actions. Below is a selection of our retail experts' perspectives on important issues. Visit Bain Insights to read more.