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When market conditions, methods of manufacture and testing, and technology remain virtually unchanged for long periods, companies in an industry can generally manage quite well doing everything in-house. But when an industry finds itself in the throes of rapid and unexpected change, outside experts can often provide the knowledge and expertise necessary for corporate survival. And so it is in our industry where the value of pharmaceutical consultants is becoming undeniable. In a ten-year-old article titled "Industry Focused: Pharmaceutical Consultancy" (Science, 17 November 2000), Tim Peakman offered some observations that are more to the point now than they were then. He wrote: "The pharmaceutical industry has undergone radical changes in the last 15 years. It has trimmed the fat and become more efficient, but in the next 2 to 5 years [which time we've now passed] the way it operates is going to alter fundamentally. Change is being driven from all sides, particularly through the impact of new technologies across the whole discovery and development process and from changes in the way that health care is funded and delivered." The changes Peakman spoke of have progressed even further, and there are others even more radical than those he had in mind in 2000. Growing FDA intrusion and compliance burdens, a dwindling number of blockbuster drugs and looming patent expirations, slowing growth in the market and shrinking profit margins, imminent novel healthcare reforms and increasingly heavy-handed government intervention, rapid technological advances and a growing number of combination products—all these are happening now or are on the near horizon. So the role of pharmaceutical consultants is expanding in scope and, at the same time, narrowing by dint of needed specialization. In the past, according to Peakman, pharmaceutical companies, for the most part, used general consultants for large business-wide endeavors like "cost reduction exercises or mergers and acquisitions." "But now," he explained, "the pervading beliefs about consultants [that they don't really know much about the pharmaceutical industry or the science involved] are being overtaken by a recognition that using outsiders with specialist knowledge can have its advantages when dealing with the massive changes the industry is facing. Whilst there is still a need for what might be termed generalists in consultancy, more and more consulting organizations are arranging themselves into industry-specialised groups." This means, then, that when a drug company turns to a pharmaceutical consulting firm to bolster profitability and hone its competitive edge, the consultants called upon need to have knowledge and expertise that are both broad and deep. Perhaps even more important, good consultants can serve in sort of "prophetic" capacity—spotting and keeping abreast of incipient trends in a rapidly changing industry, preparing companies to remain competitive when the trends are in full swing, and thus applying a preventive medicine. Quality pharmaceutical consultants, then, can prove to be an invaluable asset. They provide the necessary analytic consulting support that enables clients, with whom relationships are formed, to manage costs, improve business performance, and enhance the quality of pharmaceutical products. Consultants with industry-specific experience can also provide solutions for the manifold certification and approval processes required by the government and other official entities for healthcare products and services. Smart Consulting Group operates on the understanding that the client-consultant relationship is a partnership that promotes finding the best solutions to achieve the desired business objectives. That's why, with Smart Consulting, "you will have access to a team of professional full-time and associate pharmaceutical consultants who possess the expertise to help you in any industry-related challenge." The market has demanded life sciences consulting, pharmaceutical consultant,pharmaceutical consultants are joining forces to make them happen.If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They'll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site but do not forget to mention our Pharmaceutical Consultancy blog as the original source.
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