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What Business Threats Are Life Sciences CEOs Most Worried About in 2014?


Posted in Medical Device Business by Arundhati Parmar on February 7, 2014

A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey shows what business threats global CEOs in pharmaceutical and the life sciences sectors are concerned about.  


The healthcare industry is going through convulsive change as traditional business models are undergoing unprecedented shifts. Naturally, chief executives are not resting easy.

In a 2014 global survey of CEOs conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, pharmaceutical and life sciences CEOs demonstrated which business threats has got them most worried. Out of a total respondents of 1,344,119 were from the pharmaceutical and life science sectors.

Topping the list is the inability to protect intellectual property. Slowing growth in mature markets like U.S., Europe and Japan is prompting life science companies to emerging markets like China, where IP protection is not as strong as in the U.S. A full 64% said they were concerned about this threat, with 29% registering a response that they are “extremely concerned.”

Bribery and corruption also made the list with 61% saying that it was a cause of concern, with 27% saying they are “extremely concerned” and 34% saying they are “somewhat concerned.”

Interestingly enough cyber threats including the lack of data security was not causing too many sleepless nights - 43% said they were “not very concerned” while another 14% said they were “not concerned at all.”

A similar story was true when it comes to speed of technological change. Most CEOs did not bat an eyelid to this threat, with 68% agreeing that they were either “not very concerned” or “not concerned at all.”

It would seem that new entrants to the marketplace would be a cause for concern overall to traditional players who suddenly have Apple, Google and other tech companies to contend with in the health space. Of this threat, a majority of 50% said they are not that concerned overall, whereas 40% said they were somewhat concerned and a slim 9% said they are very concerned (and perhaps more should be).

But there was definite concern about the threat of a lack of trust in business to which 14% of life sciences CEOs said they were “extremely concerned” and another 39% said they were somewhat concerned.

When it comes to availability of key skills, 51% ranged from somewhat concerned to very concerned.

Sixty-one percent were not that worried about the possibility of supply chain disruption, while 40% were concerned with a shift in consumer spending and behaviors. Interesting, demographic changes are viewed by these CEOs to be the most transformative trend in their business with 72% of pharmaceutical and lifescience CEOs seeing it that way, compared to only 60% of global CEOs. 

But in the midst of all their concerns there was one overwhelming response from the CEOs that showed their confidence for the future: A whopping 90% of CEOs responded that they are somewhat or very confident of growth over the next three years. 

 

-- By Arundhati Parmar, Senior Editor, MD+DI
arundhati.parmar@ubm.com

 


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