Some industries have struggled of late. Post-Brexit anxiety has enveloped a number of areas of the economy, but one area that is thriving is pharmaceuticals. Manufacturers of medical goods and associated services such as pharmacy chains have done very well in recent years, owing to a variety of factors.
The industry’s spending on research and development has helped to keep it going. Figures from 2016 reveal that half of the UK’s £16.5 billion of research and development spending came from pharmaceutical companies. Commitment to developing new drugs to fight dreaded illnesses such as cancer and diabetes has created jobs and opportunities within the industry.
In light of recent changes to the NHS and the way it works, pharmaceutical companies have sought to improve their customer service, both in its pharmacies and online. One-click ordering of repeat prescriptions is a recent development which has helped to make the big chains more profitable. It has also saved patients from making a dreaded trip to the GP to pick up their form.
In the not too distant past, some pharmaceutical brands had suffered from negative publicity. A lack of spending on new medicine and poor customer service had prevented them from enjoying the same success as their peers in other industries. Reputation management soon came into play, helping them and their employees to look better in the process.
Some previously beleaguered brands took a long, hard look at the way they did business. They quickly identified what was wrong and sought to put it right straight away. Both in the labs and head offices, they adapted to changes in demand from customers, becoming more innovative along the way.
The industry is likely to face plenty of challenges in the coming years. While developments such as a new drug for breast cancer patients will enhance its reputation, the changing face of healthcare will take plenty of getting used to. Whether more parts of the NHS and similar services across the world will be privatised is unknown.
Aside from that, experimentation by some of the biggest pharmaceutical brands may be less likely as they weigh up the pros and cons of working on some medication. GSK have already announced this – will some of their competitors follow suit?
Finally, a greater shift towards online medical care is likely. Advice and diagnosis in particular will move away from surgeries and health centres, creating plenty of opportunities for growth.