Transforming Life Sciences: Australian outlook

Life Sciences: Australian outlook

In May, KPMG Global Health and Life Science Centre of Excellence strategists visited Australia to share their ideas on how companies can seize the opportunities offered by disruption and to learn how the issues are playing out in Australia.

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Director, Advisory

KPMG Australia

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Two seismic shifts already reshaping the life sciences playing field

Today’s pharmaceutical and medical technology companies are experiencing dramatic disruption on two main fronts:

  • the downward pressure on pricing
  • a switch in focus to diagnostics, prevention and cure.

Three business model archetypes for the new reality

The KPMG global strategy team discussed three business model architypes that should allow a life science business to succeed under these
new paradigms – the active portfolio company; the virtual chain orchestrator; and the niche specialist. Changes in the oncology space demonstrate how a vertical chain orchestrator and niche providers can unite to deliver a whole, life-long solution.

Warren Bingham, founder and Executive Chairman of MedTech International commented that in Australia, advances in medical devices are happening faster than in pharmaceuticals. "We’re also seeing the value chain shifting. For example, device companies are moving into hospitals and insurance."

3D printing is going to drastically change the manufacturing footprint. Companies are already thinking about what platforms and collaborators they should use or whether to own the capabilities themselves.

Bingham added that because medical devices are closer to the end user, the race for patient data is well and truly on. "Whoever owns the data is able to go value based, get information to lean out their processes and lock in customers."

Defining ‘value’

The question of how you regulate and pay for personalised or small subset therapies and devices was a common concern. Funding individual and targeted therapies is a real challenge for governments as well as suppliers.

Paul Cross, publisher of PharmaDispatch and Biotech Dispatch and ministerial adviser to two former Australian Health Ministers, emphasised the need for a more collaborative approach between suppliers and the government to work out how value is added and negotiated.

Preparing for the future

Life science companies need to position themselves as supporting the totality of care in a disease. That means perhaps earning more IP value around platform technology rather than focusing just on molecules and devices.

In doing so, the Life science industry can help the payor mitigate the growth of the bigger healthcare cost buckets, than purely on the reduction of prices of medicines and medical devices.

These radical shifts require carefully planned transition maps and a willingness to embrace new ways of adding value to patients and governments alike.

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Life Sciences

Life Sciences

KPMG's Life Sciences industry practice advises businesses from biotechnology start-ups to large multinational pharmaceutical companies.

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