Pharma life sciences

We support the pharma life and sciences industry on its journey into the future – with smart strategies for digitization, optimizing processes, go-to-market models or therapy development

The changing face of pharma life and science: trends and challenges

Technological advancements, regulatory shifts, and socioeconomic changes have long posed challenges for our healthcare system and the medical industry. The Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare and further exacerbated these underlying currents. A number of trends have emerged that will significantly change the pharma life and sciences industry: New therapies are causing increased complexity along the entire value chain and require greater agility as well as more frequent partnering to drive clinical development. Personalized medicine is enabling patients to proactively prevent diseases with the help of pharma life and sciences industry solutions integrated in their daily lives. However, to provide personalized healthcare, medical services need a far more profound understanding of lifestyle habits and individual human biology. Moreover, new competitors are entering the market to challenge the established providers. At the same time, geopolitical developments are impacting the globalization of the value chain. Lastly, digitization is enabling new solutions and approaches in the pharma life and sciences industry, for example through data analytics and AI.

To capitalize on these trends in healthcare, pharmaceutical companies need to consistently evolve in terms of research and development, operational strategy, digitization, and commercial transformation. This involves restructuring the value chain to reflect the needs of patients, introducing new forms of therapy, making targeted use of digital tools, and refocusing the business model towards health promotion and prevention. New go-to-market models can help implement these changes effectively, while the localization of supply chains can make them even more robust and resilient to disruption. It is equally important to initiate cross-industry collaboration to efficiently develop and effectively apply these innovative therapies.

To support our pharma life and sciences clients in this process, we combine practical experience with strategic excellence. For example, we optimize clinical approval processes, analyze supply chains and portfolios, and work closely with clients to develop smart strategies for integrated data management and production optimization. Whenever required, we also draw on our global network of PwC pharma life and sciences industry experts as the need arises.

Our expertise


Research and development
Operations strategy
Commercial transformation
Digitization, data and technology strategy

Innovative therapies such as 3D-printed organs or drugs, smart prostheses or mRNA vaccines are radically changing healthcare. In order to keep up with the pace of this transformation, companies need to join forces and form collaborations, be agile in clinical development and remain open to new approaches. We support our clients in their search for appropriate partners, for example with business development and licensing strategies. At the same time, we accelerate the development of new active ingredients by driving forward the implementation of fail-fast approaches.

The transformation of the industry does not only impact therapies and technologies, but also puts pressure on established processes. In the future, it will be more important than ever to balance flexibility with standardization and to make good use of new technologies. At Strategy&, we support our clients in this balancing act with targeted ecosystem strategies and large-scale transformations, for example by breaking down production steps into modules and thereby creating a standardized framework that facilitates agile processes. We also help design and implement new production platforms, for example for innovative technologies such as mRNA.

A transforming industry demands an adapted dialogue with target groups: A new focus - away from the product and towards the ecosystem - requires a more integrated approach between sales, marketing and clinical development, as well as increased collaboration with payers in the development phase. Our pragmatic strategies build the foundation of a successful Commercial Transformation. We develop well-thought-out communication building blocks, help optimize brand or lifecycle strategies, and support companies in their customer-driven repositioning.

In order to offer new treatment methods competitively, companies must build an efficient value chain. At the same time, they must offer new digital healthcare solutions and incorporate increasing personalization in their own processes. To optimize the patient journey, we support our clients with transformative IT projects, data strategies and solutions for digital ecosystems as well as with leveraging data and technologies.

Client results

A pharmaceutical company asked for our support with the launch acceleration of a number of anti-inflammatory drugs. The specific objective was to select the most promising products from its portfolio and develop options for rapid approval. Together with the client, we analyzed which active ingredients were most promising and developed tailored measures for an accelerated go-to-market of these drugs. Ultimately, we identified the two most suitable drug classes and developed a launch plan for each drug to bring it to market as fast as possible.

The German subsidiary of a pharmaceutical company asked us to help it develop new, innovative go-to-market models for its three most advanced products. Working closely with our client, we developed categories for pipeline products to enable a more strategic, targeted market launch approach. We also drew up a roadmap to implement the new models. The project resulted in three go-to-market models tailored to the individual needs of the selected pipeline products.

A global healthcare group planned to establish a start-up incubator for digital business models in the LIFEcare system and requested our support for the strategic direction, set-up, and activation. Our task was to develop the “new business” as part of our client’s digital strategy, define focus areas for digital healthcare solutions, and identify suitable start-ups for the incubator program. In addition to that, we put together a team for the new unit, and were responsible for their training and start-up support. With our help, the incubator program was successfully launched and the first start-up concepts have already been effectively rolled out.

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Dr. Thomas Solbach

Dr. Thomas Solbach

Partner, Strategy& Germany