Markets & Companies

Patient Centricity: The New Nexus for CDMOs

2019 CPhI Annual Report Predicts the Arrival of Patient-Centric CDMOs

11.11.2019 -

On the occasion of the pharma trade show CPhI Worldwide 2019, which took place in Frankfurt on November 5-7, CPhI has released its annual report, analyzing key trends and innovations in the pharmaceutical industry forecast by a panel of experts. One of the trends highlighted by panel experts in this report is patient centricity, with big blockbuster drugs gradually becoming less prevalent and a shift towards smaller volume therapies, often for niche patient cohorts.

Peter Soelkner, managing director of Vetter Pharma, predicts that the use of personalized medicines will mean increasingly individualized dosages and packaging and requires new logistics and manufacturing systems. Personalized medicine helps avoid unwanted costs for insurance payers by only prescribing these expensive medications for people who are going to respond to it. But these smaller volume therapies are also simultaneously driving up manufacturing costs per unit for each affected patient.

To counter these costs, Soelkner states that increased digitalization and the use of artificial intelligence might help manufacturers and their partners to lower the total cost of production. But he also forewarns that this will necessitate that contract providers and the industry adapt to help reduce the costs per patient. Soelkner states that personalized medicines will require new logistics and manufacturing systems, as each therapy is tailored specifically to an individual’s own genetic profile. This will continue to present manufacturing challenges, as companies switch from systems designed for larger batches.

Stuart Needleman, chief commercial officer of Piramal, explores how the patient-centric journey will operate through the pharmaceutical supply chain. He states that there will be a progressive trend across the pharmaceutical industry, with a shift towards lower volume targeted therapies. This has been driven by an increasing amount of research into more complex drugs and compounds. Needleman argues that one approach is to deliver new ways of motivating the workers so that they have a real understanding of the importance of their work and the effect on real world patients.

At Piramal, Patient Awareness Councils are being introduced across global sites in order to deliver true patient centricity. According to Needleman, “These new bodies comprise cross-functional executives and employees, and they act as the patients advocates and ambassadors for patient centricity though development and commercialization. Moving forward in the future, they will have an extremely important role to play in every project, and are tasked with creating, managing and monitoring the best practices for applying patient-centricity to the entire organization.”

In another emerging patient-focused trend on the rise, Needleman also reports that patients are seeking a greater deal of information, calling them the “globally informed patient”. Consequently, to help improve transparency, license holders could share and celebrate the manufacturing records of CDMO partners.

The complete findings of the 2019 CPhI Annual Report are available here.