Looking Forward:

Will 2018 be Pharma’s Greatest Year Yet?

Will 2018 be Pharma’s Greatest Year Yet?


The pharmaceutical industry has faced many changes in 2017. Legislative uncertainty, patient-centricity, and ransomware threats are just a few of the industry’s hurdles so far. Looking ahead, however, the industry may be seeing a positive push toward growth, innovation, and streamlined legislation.

Increased investment opportunities, research breakthroughs, and pricing negotiations could shape 2018 as the most successful year in pharma’s history. So, where will the next year take drug-makers?


Economic Upturn

Following industry controversy, many economists believe that the pharmaceutical industry will expand through 2018. Stock prices are rising throughout the industry and investment opportunities are funding more disease treatment research and enabling companies to expand pharmaceutical products on the market.

Though M&A activity increased in 2016 and part of 2017, some experts believe that the industry has hit an all-time low in activity which may continue in 2018. Aside from M&A activity, however, more companies are looking towards temporary or product-specific partnerships which enable the industry to pool resources and create innovative products.


Industry Breakthroughs

Following many pharmaceutical innovations and disease breakthroughs in recent months, experts indicate the pharmaceutical industry will continue to acquire more approvals for more niche diseases. Earlier last month, the FDA approved the second drug in history, and the first in fifty years, for the treatment of Lou Gherig’s disease.

In addition to innovative disease treatment is the way in which these treatments are used by patients. ADHD medications in particular have been historically difficult for children and young adults to manage, but with new methodologies, six new dissolving medications have joined the market, easing the burden of care. With the aid of increased funding and streamlined approvals, the industry could see even more innovation in 2018.


In the White House

The pharmaceutical industry is no stranger to political scrutiny. In February, Donald Trump met with drug-makers to discuss drug pricing, and how to lower healthcare costs for Americans. Now, as the new healthcare bill has been released, the industry may be facing more changes than pricing.

Last week we reported that the pharmaceutical industry may lose some patient populations due to the end of Medicaid expansion. The loss of customers may have a dire financial impact on the industry as a whole. This could impact investment opportunities and research funding.

Recently, an executive order detailing changes to the pharmaceutical industry was unveiled by reporters indicating that the Trump administration will still be offering the industry pricing incentives including streamlined approvals and tax cuts to American manufacturers. Though the order did not detail how the industry would, in turn, lower prices, the conditions are comparable to Trump’s meeting in February.

Though there is some uncertainty regarding the future of the pharmaceutical industry, financial growth and industry innovation may overtake legislation concerns. To learn more about the state of the pharmaceutical industry, sign up for the Q1 Mailing List or register for a pharmaceutical event here.