While life science and pharma companies have certainly experienced disruptions as a result of COVID-19, the industry is, at its core, built upon innovation and problem-solving, which has provided a unique layer of pandemic protection other industries lack. From developing and ramping up testing capabilities to reducing development-to-production timescales for vaccines, biotech companies are front and center to the pandemic response. And indeed they are responding faster than ever to emerging health threats, with multiple new antivirals in Phase III clinical trials and several vaccines in progress.
As companies sprint to innovate against COVID, engage and serve patients remotely, and adapt and accelerate clinical trials, independent talent provide an agile source of skills, allowing life science leaders to keep pace in a fast-changing environment. Pharma and biotech companies are calling on independent consultants to plan and execute critical projects like:
- Shifting production locations closer to end markets as part of supply chain resilience efforts
- Incorporating telehealth, e-detailing, and remote accessing into customer interactions
- Diagnosing and addressing cybersecurity concerns
- Implementing flexible talent programs to enhance productivity and efficiency
- Addressing risk mitigation and creating contingency and scenario plans
- Adopting policies and procedures to enhance transparency
- Developing recovery plans for restarting clinical trials—from trial design to logistics
The life science product development and launch cycle has long made the industry a perfect fit for on-demand talent—with short-term phases of drug development and steps that are easily projectized. Today, life science companies are also tapping independent data science and change management experts to help accelerate suddenly critical digital transformations to enable cloud-based data and workflow solutions. In short, with the help of on-demand talent, life science companies are pivoting to succeed in a new reality, innovating to keep pace with change, and laying the groundwork for long-term growth.
How On-Demand Talent Can Help Life Science Leaders with Critical Priorities
Independent consultants, executives, and project managers are ready and equipped to step in and help life science companies in these 7 key capacities:
Market Access, Value, and Reimbursement
Across the life sciences, market access organizations are facing great challenges and greater opportunities—from adjusting to changes in approval requirements and reimbursement processes to taking advantage of new funding sources. Highly skilled on-demand market access, value, and reimbursement talent deliver the expertise, project leadership, and execution support necessary to tackle priorities such as pricing and reimbursement, product launch and channel execution, integrated evidence planning, and health policy strategy.
More than ever, innovative therapies are being brought to market, and new technologies are available to improve clinical outcomes, but clinical research is expensive and complex. On-demand clinical solutions experts are ready to jump in on critical projects like adjusting approval and launch timelines, adopting new technologies, reassessing portfolios, supporting the development of regulatory planning and submissions processes, and implementing systematic use of RWE/D generation, storage, and analysis.
Succeeding in today’s fast-changing commercial environment requires agility and rapid response to new market conditions. On-demand commercial excellence consultants can help formulate strategies that foster long-term growth while protecting immediate revenues and profit. From product launch to patient centricity and brand strategy to lifecycle planning, independent commercial excellence consultants can step in nimbly to drive measurable results.
Digital Health and Innovation
Digital health has opened up new ways to improve patient engagement and outcomes, and in our suddenly remote reality, it is paramount. On-demand digital health and innovation consultants can help identify the most promising opportunities—and develop sustainable operating models as part of a holistic, integrated digital strategy.
Strategy and M&A
The life science landscape is changing fast, thanks to new technologies, competitors, market dynamics, and customer expectations. On-demand life science strategy consultants bring both experience and speed to these challenges, supporting initiatives like introducing new products to market, re-optimizing portfolios, or assessing new opportunities and acquisition targets. Independent talent is a low-risk and affordable source of actionable insights about products, markets, and performance.
Operations, Supply Chain, and Manufacturing
Life science companies were already under enormous pressure to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and deliver more value to patients. Add to that the imperative to localize supply chains, address workforce planning and business continuity concerns, and develop large-scale digital initiatives. On-demand life science operations consultants offer fast and efficient expertise for finding smart solutions to complex challenges.
Organization and Transformation
Today, agility and speed replace yesterday’s rigid hierarchies, cultural silos, and bureaucratic processes. On-demand life science organizational consultants provide fast, flexible help on pressing organizational challenges such as implementing large-scale digital transformations, addressing risk mitigation, enhancing transparency, and developing workforce and talent strategies. Create an effective, accountable, and highly communicative culture with the help of independent talent.
Most In-Demand On-Demand Life Science Skills Right Now
BTG’s 2020 Skills Index shows broadly that in the time of COVID, companies are increasingly relying on on-demand talent for skills that allow them to adapt and innovate, including eCommerce and internet strategy, data visualization, product development, and organizational transformation. A closer look at top skills particular to the life science industry shows companies tapping remote, on-demand resources to continue or accelerate existing pre-COVID workstreams, develop new products—including COVID vaccines and therapeutics—and competitively position for future growth:
Top 5 Life Science Skills in the Time of COVID-19
Market research and landscape
Regulatory strategy, process, and submissions
Product development and launch