Swiss Entrepreneurs Magazine


Tore Bergsteiner The Managing Director Of MAIN5 Consulting, Picture Courtesy of MAIN5



Hardly any industry is dragged down so much by regulation in innovation work as the pharmaceutical industry. This was the key result of the “Pharma Insights 2019” study, which the consulting firm MAIN5 recently published. 65 percent of the processes in pharmaceutical companies are audit-focused, and the majority (70 percent) have grown organically over time.


Only 8 percent of the processes are future-oriented, according to a survey of 94 specialists and executives from the pharmaceutical industry. “The pharmaceutical industry could tap much more potential, which often arises from necessity. As companies operate from audit to audit, the focus is progressively shifted away from competitiveness”, says Tore Bergsteiner, Managing Director of MAIN5. Industry experts advise pharmaceutical companies on how to digitize regulated processes. So far, however, only part of the accumulated data from different business units are being analyzed and used for innovation and future optimization.


Big Data: Running at half power

64 percent of those surveyed assume that no more than half of data generated will be analyzed and future processes optimized. 26 percent of the interviewed professionals were reluctant to answer the Big Data question: “The uncertainty surrounding Big Data is huge. However, high-quality inventory data is the most valuable resource today when it comes to new innovations and process optimization”, states Tore Bergsteiner of MAIN5.



Still, the pharmaceutical industry is feeling the pressure, which is further confirmed by declining sales of blockbuster drugs: 47 percent of the study respondents state that the development of new growth markets and product diversification are just as important challenges. After that, respondents mentioned the protection of sensitive patient data with the fulfillment of GDPR (45 percent), and in third place, business risks due to expiring patent protection and thus generics in the market (44 percent – multiple answers were possible). Falling blockbuster sales also appear among the 2019 challenges at 41 percent.



Digitization: Hardly a risk

Respondents agree on the risk assessment of growing digitization in the patent- and knowledge-driven pharmaceutical industry: only 21 percent see a risk, but 70 percent agree this is exceedingly small or simply non-existent. “The depth of digitization will determine the distribution of market share in international competition and also with which active ingredients and drug combinations new products can be brought to the market,” explains the MAIN5 Managing Director.


With numerous mandates from the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, the MAIN5 team regularly reorganizes complete processes, structures and systems. The goal is to develop robust, efficiency-based process relationships and the sustainable, competitive positioning of a manufacturer or distributor in the global market of pharmaceutical companies.


Main5 ( was established in 2013 as a Management Consulting firm and focuses on strategy, process and solution consulting with international life science companies in the regulated R&D and Regulatory Affairs and Quality Management sectors. The consultants at Main5 combine their methodical and systematic approach with years of experience in the industry. The holistic approach, which places the primary focus of the route to the digital future on people, is also used to implement complex ideas from leading industry customers.


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