There is a resurgence underway in the  pharma industry inpart because of new ways companies are approaching the business.  Efficiency, flexibility, passion for the job, relevancy, and connectedness have proven key for cost reduction and several other challenges.

The industry has been plagued with failed trials, conflicting drug information, and patent expirations, giving way to outsourcing, acquisitions, and layoffs.  However, the economy has been the strongest adversary, taking its heavy toll among Pharma.  Recently the focus has been on lowering costs in a number of operational areas.  The pharma industry is no longer a secure career area, however, it poses a great opportunity for rethinking personal qualities, motivations, and back-up plans.

Since Pharma is evolving and changing, people must be flexible, tenacious, and strong.  Mergers, acquisitions, closings, downsizing, and outsourcing are dark clouds hanging over the Pharma industry.

One characteristic of the Pharma work force is its good track record towards challenges, which comes in very handy in this situation.  Workers are facing layoffs and expected to do more with less.  Individuals must be willing to take on new jobs and leave their comfort zones.

Outsourcing overseas, in places like Singapore and India, has become a strong option for reducing expenses and maintaining expansion, thus, workers must be prepared for a sudden change in their current positions and look for other work alternatives.  These might range from assuming more responsibilities, specialization or moving overseas, to changing career paths completely, people in the Pharma industry must be vigilant towards what is happening in the industry.

Nevertheless, there are outsourcing opportunities appearing close to home as well as interesting partnerships that may guarantee making it through this period in a healthy manner.

For the time being, the most interesting projects within a company have been set aside to make room for people to manage different first-priority projects, as many are experiencing the lack of personnel due to staff reductions.  Many workers may be forced to change locations if they want to grow within a company and, if flexible, there may be important opportunities worth taking into consideration, like venturing into pharmaceutical consultancy.

Thus, a great plus is to possess good transferable, communication, and interpersonal skills, as well as to be able to assume new tasks in a fast and efficient way.  There are interesting opportunities arising within tech transfer, project and clinical trial management, QA, QC, regulatory, validation, and analytics.

Currently the sector that seems to be holding the industry upright is biopharma, but, whatever the case, there is always opportunity if individuals know where to look for it and are open to learning new skills and thinking outside the box.  One thing is certain, only good can come out of these new ways of approaching reality.