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Pharma update

The Pharmaceutical Industry has always been one of change and transition. According to a recent PwC studyby 2020 the Pharma market will have doubled in size with the E7 countries — Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkey — accounting for one fifth of global pharmaceutical sales. Does this means that we are soon going to see an upturn in the number of vacancies?

We are all aware that the Pharma industry had its issues in the last couple of years. The top contributing factors include lack of product innovation and the fact that major drugs are reaching the end of their patent exclusivity. Between 2012 and 2014 alone, this is the case for 110 products. “Blockbuster” drugs still bring in major profit - and pharmaceuticals certainly investing in producing new drugs. However, they are struggling to find the next breakthrough product. 

Firms try to join forces in order to drive innovation - as we have seen in the past year, M&A activities have gone through the roof. Additionally, the key pharmaceuticals are seeing their market share shrink due to smaller firms that are producing generic drugs. The result of this is considerably less successful research and development activity across the whole industry.

However these trends don’t necessarily mean that there is less hiring into scientific jobs, but rather point to a shift in demand for a specific skillset, e.g. a higher requirement for specific scientists, but less so for pre-clinical toxicology jobs. In fact, a recent study by VacancySoft found that these roles now make 38% of all UK based scientific vacancies, significantly up from the 16% recorded in Q4 2014. 

Looking at other trends within the industry, such as upscale in technological advances, improving the supply chain and S&OP processes, we are likely to experience an increase in demand for these experts, too. Interestingly, it seems that the closed pharma industry is now open to experts from other industries as well. 

If you’re interested in reading more about the ‘hiring and firing’ across the industry, involving Pharma, Medtech and Biotech companies, than I suggest reading EP Vantage’s annual job report which was published a few weeks ago. 

As always, I am very interested in your opinion and looking forward to hearing from you. Please leave your comments directly under this blog.

Norma Warwick-Smith is Senior Consultant, Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences at Interim Partners.

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