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Pharma-on-Demand

Make or buy? That is the question that the pharma world has been asking more and more in the last couple of decades. Pernille Hemmingsen is moderator at Pharma Outsourcing Dec 10th i Stockholm. This is her thoughts about outsourcing.

Make or buy? That is the question that the pharma world has been asking more and more in the last couple of decades. Initially, the drive to outsource activities was the need for rapid changeovers in a world of extremely specialized products and continuous decrease in the number of blockbusters. The specialization calls for small and agile units and does not support the enormous facilities that was the normal for big pharma just a few years ago.

Specialization obviously implies knowledge, experience and advanced skillsets. All something that is easier to facilitate at specialized contract units than in the individual pharma business. Consequently, outsourcing activities are presently often driven by the urge to find the experts and world leaders in a specific activity. Expertise that might not be available in-house.

For the pharma industry the outsourcing strategy is here to stay. Although there is an ever-increasing pressure on pricing and the need to innovate, the need for better treatments for an increasing population is evident. New opportunities emerge with technological innovation, and for me the possibility to turn incurable diseases into manageable conditions is one of the biggest motivations of all. Outsourcing partners give access to new technologies, providing both the technology and know-how to the pharmaceutical industry. It is Pharma-on-Demand.

I have always worked in small enterprises with the restrictions on budget and resources which is an integrated part of entrepreneurship. However, my daily schedule has changed dramatically from my first positions to now even though the overall purpose is still to develop new products.

Back then, I was sleeping in the office under the desk because a dissolution sample had to be taken at 2 am – and by the way the guys in the pilot plant may need support for the close-down at 3.30 (if not delayed). Getting ready to discuss with management tomorrow on the new equipment that we really could not afford but was absolutely necessary in order to progress the project.

Now I sleep on a plane on my way to visit a contract manufacturing site, who has all the right equipment and experience with the innovative technology, which is needed for the project which management boldly approved. I look forward to meeting the business developer and the subject matter expert again. Our first introduction was at a network event last year. It is a good and interesting project, with both exciting possibilities and frustrating challenges ahead.

The joy of working with excellent partners is a daily pleasure. I am excited to be part of Pharma Outsourcing 2019. The event is always great in facilitating interaction. A large number of outsourcing partners will be in Stockholm in December, thereby facilitating the network which is an absolute must in current pharmaceutical development. I look forward to meeting both new and familiar contractors. And who knows – maybe be inspired to start new projects…

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