Tag Archives: Life Sciences Industry


What’s ahead for the life sciences industry? One word: Growth.

Like the focused medical industry, this larger category of all things related to human health research and development experienced an unprecedented period of growth during the pandemic. While that explosion is likely to level off and normalize, life sciences can expect a bright future — albeit with some challenges on the road ahead. They include supply chain disruption, staffing shortages and the increased need to become more efficient in manufacturing to keep up with demand.

Current life sciences trends

The life sciences industry is a big tent, encompassing the development and production of products and services geared toward biology, medicine and health care. We’re talking about pharmaceuticals, biotech, medical devices, clinical research, robotics, genomes and more. Everyone was witness to the great vaccine race of 2020, with big pharma rushing to develop the COVID vaccine. While that moment of urgency has, thankfully, passed, the industry is still feeling the effects of the pandemic, spurring continued growth in intellectual property.

Here are some of the life sciences trends we’re seeing in the industry for the coming year (and beyond).


This trend isn’t unique to life sciences, but it’s definitely taking center stage in this industry. Using data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to further personalize health care treatments, gain more meaningful insights, hone and enhance pharmaceuticals and devices, and improve outcomes will remain a focus in the near future and beyond.


Remember that vaccine race we were talking about? While the worldwide COVID vax panic has passed, the race for newer, better innovations in vaccines, drugs and other pharma intellectual property is still on. Like many other industries, life sciences is feeling the effects of disruption via startups. In life sciences, that means smaller companies that are going full tilt into scientific advancements. Experts believe this trend will drive a significant amount of mergers and acquisitions. Look for big pharma to target small, innovative companies. According to ContractPharma, companies with less than $250 million in revenue are powering innovation in biopharma. By 2026, ContractPharma predicts those companies will account for 60% of biopharma’s growth.


All of this innovation and M&A activity is predicted to impact manufacturing as well, not only in the area of things like AI and robotics-fueled innovation and the exploding demand for personal medical devices (fueled by the telehealth tsunami) but in good, old fashioned upgrades to facilities, focuses on efficiencies, and the ability to do more with less. Because of all the innovation and increased demand, life sciences manufacturing needs to be lean and mean.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing part of the latest life sciences trends

Supply chain disruption

How many of us would love to never hear that phrase again? Yet, it continues to plague almost every industry, from chicken farming to biopharma. In life sciences, it’s about costs, logistics, shortages of the drugs themselves (c’mon Hollywood, stop using Ozempic for weight loss!), and changes in trade policy.


Staffing woes are hitting life sciences on all sides. The industry is experiencing challenges finding workers in manufacturing facilities, but it’s not just those frontline employees that are scarce these days. There’s a growing shortage of pharmacists, leading to the very recent announcement that CVS and Walmart are cutting their pharmacy hours in stores nationwide.

All that said, the industry looks bright in the areas of innovation and growth. There will be bumps along the way which include drug shortages, the staffing needed to get those drugs into the hands of patients, as well as the overriding need for manufacturing of drugs, personal health devices and other health equipment to be as efficient as possible. A management consulting firm can help them get there.

Augmenting the Life Sciences industry

At USC Consulting Group, we are operations management consultants who specialize in helping manufacturers, including those in healthcare and life sciences, transform their operations and processes into lean (or Lean) and mean operations, functioning at optimal efficiency levels.

Looking at the current life sciences trends, it’s clear that the M&A push along with supply chain and manufacturing challenges require some introspection of operations management industrywide. With M&As comes due diligence prior to any deal, then the blending of processes, procedures, and even equipment and facilities after the acquisition. Managing that is an enormous job. Combine that with staffing woes and continued supply chain disruption, and it’s easy to see the urgency for efficiency in operations.

Our goal is to improve business performance by increasing productivity and throughput, reducing costs, eliminating waste, improving quality and leveraging existing assets.

To get there, we will typically focus on Lean Six Sigma methodologies, including:

One key element in our approach that you may not find elsewhere: We get onto the floor and partner with your employees, the people who are doing the job day to day. We also involve your upper management and C-suite execs to achieve success with a top-down and bottom-up approach.

Whether the end product is high-tech medical devices or branded pharmaceuticals, life sciences companies have much to gain from kicking their manufacturing efficiencies into high gear. This marketplace demands it. The race for innovation is high, and companies need to develop and manufacture product quickly to avoid being left behind.

Our extensive experience in life sciences has helped countless companies implement business intelligence solutions to increase productivity, reduce labor, lower overall operating costs and improve yields and product quality. Our particular expertise covers the clean room environment, packaging methods ranging from multivac to hand assembly, and pharmaceutical delivery methods such as liquid, suspension, gelcaps, tablets and softgels.

We’ll work at every level within your company to deliver improvements that net substantial savings. And we’ll leave you with the knowledge, tools and technology to sustain those improvements over time.

Contact USC Consulting Group today to infuse life back into your operations.

Contact USC Consulting Group

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In March 2010, then President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and ushered in the era of value-based health care. While various groups within the medical community had been pursuing this outcome for decades, the passage and enactment of the legislation greenlit the creation of regulatory infrastructure needed to promote and facilitate widespread adoption among health care providers, medical device makers and pharmaceutical firms, according to research published in the journal Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. Experts predicted the effects of this would ripple across numerous health care-adjacent industries – most notably, the life sciences space.

Did this transformation unfold as expected? Now almost a decade removed from the signing of the ACA, it is possible to assess how the emergence of value-based care has impacted this key sector.

Grappling with operational change

In the immediate aftermath of the legislation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services swapped the volumetric provider repayment models of the past for those centered on patient outcomes. This modification incentivized hospitals to embrace value-based workflows that reduced the likelihood of readmission and eliminated unnecessary costs to patients. Businesses in the life sciences sector were ultimately forced to grapple with this transformation, as health care providers encouraged them to adopt value-based contracting practices.

The organizations that accepted this challenge made significant adjustments to their operations, incorporating evidence-gathering and patient-engagement methodologies into existing research and development processes with the intention of cultivating effective products that would bolster patient outcomes and therefore generate revenue. However, some companies in the life sciences space resisted, including pharmaceutical firms, many of which leveraged their power in the marketplace to push back against providers promoting value-based care. Just one-quarter of drug companies have adopted value-based contracting strategies, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

More transformation on the horizon

The value-based care transformation continues today, despite recent policy changes related to the ACA. Why? The concept works as intended. Almost 80 percent of insurance companies saw care outcomes improve between 2016 and 2018, while watching overall medical costs decrease by more than 5 percent over the same span, researchers from Change Health Care found. This is partially why 75 percent of providers are lobbying vendors in the life sciences sector and other industries to enter into value-based contracting agreements, according to Premier.

In the past, organizations in the industry may have been able to ignore these calls. However, the maturing state of value-based care and pressure from consumers is making this difficult. Here in the U.S., an estimated 80 percent of individuals using medication say pharmaceutical pricing is unreasonable, analysts for the Kaiser Family Foundation discovered. Politicians on both sides of the aisle agree and have expressed a willingness to intervene on patients’ behalf.

With this state of affairs in play, organizations in the life sciences arena would be wise to evaluate their internal workflows and move forward with modifications that prepare them for the value-based future. Here at USC Consulting Group, we have been helping businesses optimize their operations for decades, leveraging proven techniques and tools that ease change and lay the foundation for growth.

Contact us today to learn more about our work.


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