PharmaBoardroom featured a wide range of developments in the life sciences industry in 2019, including a growing focus on China and the Asia Pacific region, which shows no signs of slowing down. Furthermore, along with our contributors, we highlighted developments and forecasts in the rare disease and orphan drug space and in cell and gene therapies. Equally important were issues such as market access challenges in different regions and drug shortages in the European Union. These trends set the stage for what is to come next in healthcare in the coming decade.
Asia was the top-watched region this year with China receiving the bulk of the attention, its slew of regulatory reforms during the past year leaving the pharma industry scrambling to catch up. Most notably, readers were concerned about the 4+7 purchasing policy and its impact on pricing, with multinational and local companies alike battling for winning bids.
It is no surprise that our readers’ interest focused on companies and people to know in the region. With a recent explosion of growth in Chinese biotech ventures – many companies going public on the HKEx and Shanghai exchanges – readers were curious about top biotechs to watch in China. Similarly, Korea’s resilient pharma industry garnered interest from readers looking to understand the capabilities of the top 10 Korean pharma companies. While Japan is widely known for its ageing population, Janssen Japan general manager Chris Hourigan suggests that improved access to innovative medicines could be a key solution to combat rising ageing-related healthcare costs.
Asian pharma is a ripe sector for leadership opportunities, and the region boasts a higher percentage of women in executive leadership than its western counterparts. Our five women to know in Asian pharma highlighted country managers from Novartis, Roche, Amgen, Janssen and Ipsen. In India, we showcased ten pharma leaders who are pillars in the local life sciences industry.
PharmaBoardroom produced 13 country reports in 2019 that featured key stakeholders and country-specific industry trends. In 2019 we launched our first InFocus special highlighting rare diseases and orphan drugs, identifying the key trends in the sector: “Long regarded as a neglected backwater within the drug discovery landscape and the preserve of only a handful of niche players, the rare disease space has been undergoing an extraordinary turnaround in fortunes of late.” This was followed by special features on European MidCaps and Cannabis.
We sat down face to face with over 600 life sciences leaders across 15 countries, including five global CEOs in European pharma, gaining insights into what drives their success and their commitment to continued innovation. Another important interview we conducted featured current Medicines for Europe president Christoph Stoller, who identified the pressing problem of drug shortages in Europe as a top priority for his presidency.
Several of PharmaBoardroom’s top read articles in 2019 came from our contributors who are thought leaders across the life sciences sector. David H. Crean of Objective Capital Partners emphasized the importance of investment in areas such as cell and gene therapies, as well as investing in rare diseases and orphan drugs. Chester “Chip” Davis Jr. of the Association for Accessible Medicines expanded on how generic drugs foster competition in the market and argued for greater provision for access to biosimilars within the trade agreements that the USA is currently negotiating with its neighbours. On making better use of data, Nawal Roy of Holmusk discussed tangible ways pharmaceutical companies can use real-world evidence to increase effectiveness in product life-cycle management.