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- Pharmaceutical industry: future trends
Pharmaceutical industry: future trends
The pharmaceutical industry is forecast to reach a turnover of £22bn in 2015 and is expected to undergo significant change over the next two decades [Life Sciences & Pharmaceuticals: A future skills review, 2009].
The period to 2015 will be one of gradual change but the pace of change could increase subsequently. There are significant challenges to the old economic model of the pharmaceutical industry, based on R&D, protection of patents and high-margin manufacturing, and the industry may move to a model that involves a much higher level of technical service provision than in the past, with appropriate skills at a corresponding premium.
The skills mix in the future is likely to be wider and more interdisciplinary, and it is anticipated that there will be a significant increase in the skills level of the sector. There is expected to be more collaboration with universities, and research will rely on innovative technology platforms, be concentrated on niches and be conducted at the interfaces between sciences; chemistry and molecular biology being considered a particularly important new research field.
Acquiring these skills will generate new challenges for employers, especially in those skill areas that are already recognised as hard to fill. The market for postgraduate skills will be more competitive as the pool is smaller and more sought after. Employers will have to offer attractive and fulfilling career opportunities.
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