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What are the challenges and opportunities of biopharma?

April 30, 2021


Biopharmaceuticals are among the most complex and elegant realizations of modern science. But this complexity also comes at great cost. More exactly, biotech-manufacturing facilities need between $200 and $500 million to be built and this process could last up to five years. 

The Challenges of Biopharma

  • Biopharma supply chains and operations are highly complex.

The rise of new process technologies has a direct impact on biopharma supply chain and operations. Current production programs are already highly complex, and this challenge is expected to increase as sites move from “one line, one product” to flexible multiple product operations. 

  • Regulatory scrutiny is increasingly demanding. 

Quality compliance is a real struggle for many biopharma companies as scrutiny is unlikely to decrease. What is more, as global markets keep expanding, the complexity of multiple quality standards and regulatory regimes is increasing. 

  • Downward cost pressure intensifies. 

Healthcare systems find it difficult to balance rising demand with declining budgets. In this context, governments are actively looking for alternative ways to fulfill the demand for certain biopharma products. Understanding the critical impact of biopharma on healthcare outcomes is essential for healthcare providers that want to keep up with the technological future of healthcare. 

Opportunities in Biopharma 

The biopharma industry generates around $163 billion globally—that’s about 20% of the pharma market. It goes without saying that the opportunities in biopharmaceuticals are not few and are expanding rapidly.  

Biopharmaceutical products have proven to be safe and effective, and combined with the ability to address previously untreatable diseases, it allows pharma companies to set high prices for innovative drugs. 

As the strong demand has caused increased profits despite the high costs, biopharma has set new standards for blockbuster drugs as well. These drive around $1 billion in sales annually. 

Evolving trends are set to fundamentally transform the biopharmaceutical industry. As technology is making its way into the industry, product innovation is a requirement for companies that want to thrive. The main focus will be on cost, quality, and scale, and the winners will be those who make the best case for speed, process innovation, and operational efficiency. 

No matter the competitive niche, global innovators must continue to expand their manufacturing capabilities and technological processes. Most probably, the leading biopharmaceutical companies will be those who master the balance between manufacturing technologies and operational improvements. The main focus will be on improving productivity and reducing costs as well as on achieving agile manufacturing capabilities. 


Modern medicine is highly reliant on biopharmaceutical development, especially in the current times of crisis that we live in. Challenges like high costs and increasingly complex supply chains will be overcome by those who invest in technology and operational development. The future of medicine looks different from this point of view—It will most definitely rely on a combination of advanced technologies and algorithms, leaving traditional medicine practices behind.