In Europe, biopharmaceutical companies are facing a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex healthcare landscape, bringing with it new challenges. These include fragmentation of the payer landscape, intensification of on-going assessment of products’ outcomes and value, and an increased focus on patient experience and outcomes.

The environment has become increasingly competitive both within and beyond the EU region. The trend is to become more globalized and regionalized, and the challenge is in preserving and improving consistency amidst this trend. Biopharma companies constantly need to improve existing services and grapple with the growing demands of individual countries in terms of how each wants to work with biopharma. Biopharma also needs to deal with the fragmented nature of the EU market and the enduring market access challenges.

These challenges have helped transform how biopharma has been clinically and commercially organized. Almost everything is being done on a global scale – clinical trials, manufacturing, vendor sourcing, and the setting of clinical standards. Some companies have developed large supplier bases across the globe, opening up risks to consistency, safety and customer experience. On top of this, most, if not all, companies have been operating under limited resources. Responding to these challenges may have distracted some companies from their core purpose of developing innovative drugs and bringing them to patients.

Amidst this change, many biopharma companies have quickly learned to adapt by reducing fixed and administrative costs, separating core from non-core functions and infrastructures, optimizing processes and changing leadership approaches. However, companies now need to find their way back to simplicity. If they are to survive, they need to think hard about how they can protect their individual competitive advantage. And the best solution to supporting performance is to become operationally excellent. What we are seeing is a more strategic approach to how companies outsource in some or all of their activities.

Searching for a strategic partner

To improve probability of success and to stay relevant in a tough European market, biopharma companies need a new commercial partnering approach.  With relevant industry expertise and ready-established networks, processes and clients across the industry and region, the right outsourcing partner can provide customers with the consulting and commercial support they need to enhance international market entry.

Whether the priority is to improve the delivery of services, drive health outcomes to create a commercial impact, or achieve balance between innovation, scalability and quality, companies stand to gain from working with a strategic partner that has a comprehensive knowledge base and team members who truly understand the complexity of the ever-evolving commercial landscape.

Having a strategic and highly skilled partner with a wealth of experience in performing roles can facilitate the success in both clinical and commercial lifecycles. A partner can share in the burden of dealing with both essential and non-essential activities and offer new perspectives and approaches to solutions.

We are seeing a number of customers who are realizing the benefits of partnering with an external partner with expertise in working across a single market, regionally or globally, to lower costs from a commercial standpoint and maintain consistency and boost quality from the clinical side.

The role of a strategic outsourcing partner

The current trends in globalization and regionalization clearly speak to outsourcing companies that have geographical footprint, skills and scale, a varied service mix, and core capabilities that span from clinical product development to clinical trial support to commercial integration and health outcomes solutions.

Biopharma companies have a diverse set of needs. We believe that a strategic approach to outsourcing has to match the challenge that each company faces. For companies who struggle with limited resources and are faced with mounting fixed expenditures, a strategic partner can assist them with attaining cost-efficiency and flexibility. For companies that require excellence in execution and implementation, a strategic partner can integrate checks-and-balances and provide consistency and simplicity. For those who find themselves under extreme competitive pressure, the right partner should deliver innovation and experience. Furthermore, for companies who function in a complex market environment, quality and compliance must be offered. We believe that the nature of the relationship between a company and its strategic partner should also vary depending on the engagement level needs of the company.

There are both immediate and long-term benefits to working with an outsourcing organization that can navigate the regional and global arena. Partnering with outsourcing firms with impressive skill and scale can drive innovation and cost-efficiency, improve risk management and, most of all, allow you to have a clearer focus on your patient-centric goals.