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European Pharmaceutical Contractor

The Full Potential

The increasing demands in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to reduce costs and decrease lead times have forced many companies to rethink their overall strategy. The pharmaceutical environment in particular is facing challenges such as patent expiries for blockbuster drugs, pricing pressure from payers, dwindling pipelines and a switch to biologics, all of which contribute to higher outlay and lower potential income. In the past 10 years alone we have seen FDA approvals of new drugs fall by half, whereas the total R&D spend has more than doubled.

In response, the industry is turning to consolidation, with active M&As in both branded and generic markets. In-licensing to access IP from smaller pharma and biotech companies is also increasing, as is outsourcing of core and, in some cases, noncore competencies, including clinical trials and manufacturing. Business management strategies such as ‘Lean’ and ‘Six Sigma’ are also coming into play to drive improved productivity, accountability and flexibility through simplification of organisational structures, acceleration and decentralisation of decision-making processes, and rethinking of operating procedures.

The majority of these companies are research-driven and, therefore, they are heavily reliant on laboratory equipment and specialised technologies from a wide range of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Individual laboratories often use over 100 suppliers and, for large organisations, this situation is further complicated as they operate from multiple sites spread across the globe. One major pharmaceutical company, for instance, discovered that it had 21,000 assets from more than 350 OEMs across just five of its sites in North America. In order to combat the problems that arise from this, many companies are directing attention toward how best to manage their laboratory assets, as there is clear evidence that an efficient, data-driven approach can improve productivity, offer huge cost savings, and increase equipment uptime – all contributing to a healthier bottom line.


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Silvia Esteban is the Global Marketing Manager for GE Healthcare’s Scientific Asset Services business. Silvia’s expertise is in developing straight-to-market solutions that can deliver customer value within life sciences. She has also implemented global integrated strategic marketing plans to better communicate to customers the benefits these solutions bring to their organisations. Silvia has over 12 years’ experience delivering strategic marketing and communication programmes to the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries.
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Silvia Esteban
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