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Keywords:

  • academia;
  • biotechnology;
  • chemistry;
  • drug discovery;
  • pharmaceutical industry

Abstract

The pharmaceutical industry is under increasing pressure on many fronts, from investors requiring larger returns to consumer groups and health authorities demanding cheaper and safer drugs. It is also feeling additional pressure from the infringement upon its profit margins by generic drug producers. Many companies are aggressively pursuing outsourcing contracts in an attempt to counter many of the financial pressures and streamline their operations. At the same time, the productivity of the pharmaceutical industry at its science base is being questioned in terms of the number of products and the timeframes required for each company to deliver them to market. This has generated uncertainties regarding the current corporate strategies that have been adopted and the levels of innovation being demonstrated. In this essay we discuss these topics in the context of the global pharmaceutical market, investigating the basis for many of these issues and highlighting the hurdles the industry needs to overcome, especially as they relate to the chemical sciences.