Pharmaceutical industry has always enjoyed a unique and respectable status, on the one hand, and an unenviable and distrustful standing, on the other. While the general view is that it is an industry promoting health and well-being, it is the ease with which its reputation shuttles between the two extreme perceptions of that of a savior and that of a rapacious profiteer, who thrives on the suffering of others, is a cause for concern.
There is a discernible shift in focus in recent times to address this issue and we find a number of emerging and welcome trends in all areas - marketing, manufacturing, research and development, emerging and innovative technologies, regulatory environment, legal and ethical issues, intellectual property rights in developing countries, and a host of others. Adequately addressing all these issues, countering the adverse propaganda and improving its image are indeed daunting tasks for the pharma sector.
The twin-engine of innovation and technology is driving marketing of pharma products. Novel ways of marketing using the latest developments in technology are being invented, experimented and applied. The thrust is on providing healthcare through customization and making the process highly interactive. There is a growing awareness among patients as a result of the marketing efforts of pharma companies. We find a growing trend among patients to discuss the medication prescribed with their doctors, and patients suggesting their choice of treatment is being increasingly heard of. Technology is greatly facilitating in ensuring privacy, accessibility, and information on drugs and the attendant side effects to enable the patient to make an informed choice.
Within the industry, one is able to perceive some emerging trends relating to manufacturing. Emergence of new manufacturing technologies is redefining the industry standards with regard to quality and regulatory compliance. To counter the challenges posed due...