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- In the Field
A New Era For Manufacturing PharmaceuticalsSeptember 26, 2012
A McKinsey Quarterly article challenges pharmaceutical manufacturing leaders to think differently about operations.
What’s next for the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry? Has the industry’s blockbuster drug development phase “run its course,” as a McKinsey Quarterly article suggests? The article, based on findings by a team of researchers, says market expectations now center on creating value for businesses rather than optimizing current assets. And to meet those expectations, the authors argue that pharma-manufacturing leaders must rethink their approach to operating and demand a higher level of innovation.
The article suggests that other industries have innovated much more quickly. For example, automotive plants replaced some workers with robots to more efficiently work on car bodies.
“The short story is that other industries have pushed manufacturing innovation far and fast, but pharma has not. Yesterday’s choices—prioritizing timely product launches over stable processes, reserving enormous excess capacity, and choosing safe and conservative technologies—are clearly not right for today,” the article states.
So how can the sector rethink its strategy and focus on manufacturing innovation? McKinsey researchers surveyed the industrial landscape to find innovative future production scenarios. The research found three models based on stories from other companies, including Nucor, Intel and Walt Disney Company.
The article further explains that leaders in the pharma manufacturing industry aren’t limited to the models by those three companies, but the models are intended to “foster fresh thinking about how each individual pharma company can leverage manufacturing operations to quickly and reliably boost value for its shareholders.” The important question, stated throughout the article, is how and where can industry leaders start?