In attending CPhI this week in Frankfurt, one theme that repeatedly emerged was the increasing importance of CROs, CDMOs, and CMOs to build more strategic, deeper, and collaborative relationships with pharmaceutical companies as a way to meet the evolving needs of the industry and as a a mutual tool in value creation.
The rationale for such an approach is clear. One needs to only look down the rows of the more than 1800 exhibitors at CPhI to see the requisite for contract-service providers and suppliers to achieve competitive advantage through product and service differentiation. For pharmaceutical companies, among the more than 25,000 attendees at CPhI, the decision of with whom to partner is crucial for successfully implementing their drug-development and manufacturing strategies.
The strategic partnership model was discussed at a conference session at CPhI. Moderated by Jim Miller, president of PharmSource Information Services and contributing editor to Pharmaceutical Technology, the panel featured presentations from Sanjit Singh Lamba, managing director of the Knowledge Center for Eisai, Massimiliano Brescia, global pharmaceutical operations at Abbott, and Philip Pratten, vice-president of business development, contract pharma services with Alkermes. The panelists discussed the drivers behind the adoption of strategic partnerships and best practices in optimizing such relationships.
For pharmaceutical companies, they face ongoing pressure to reduce costs while maintaining quality and security of supply, are seeking to reduce their supplier base to more efficiently manage their drug-development activities and manufacturing network on a global basis, and want to gain continuous improvement and innovation in technology, processes, and project management. For contract service providers, such strategic partnerships are a way to meet the expanding and diverse needs of pharmaceutical customers by building long-term and stable relationships. The panelists shared perspectives on performance metrics, communication approaches, and best practices in technology transfer in meeting the evolving needs of pharmaceutical companies.
So what is the take-away? Effective relationship builing, project-management competency, continuous-improvement strategies, and supplier innovation are evermore important elements of the toolboxes of contract-service providers.