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Big Pharma Needs To Adapt To The Times, Says Teva CEO

Female pharmacist

The CEO and interim-President of pharmaceutical giant Teva, Yitzhak Peterburg, believes that the health-care industry is facing a “huge disruption” in the coming years. The cause, Peterburg believes, is the fact that technology heavyweights are not “jostling” for consumers with more traditional providers.

“I am a very great believer that we are now in a huge disruption within the health-care (industry),” he said, “and I think it will affect our industry. For me, the digital reform, or whatever we see, is a huge enabler.”

Teva Pharmaceutical, which is located in Israel, is one of the largest producers of generic medicines. It also has treatments for sclerosis as well as late-stage programs for disorders of the nervous system.

Peterburg believes that pharmaceutical companies need to start thinking of ways to navigate their changing landscapes and take a look at the competitors that are appearing.

“Being good at manufacturing pills and injections is no longer enough for pharma companies. Consumers have also changed and they expect very different value from pharmaceutical companies and the healthcare industry as a whole,” said Peterburg.

Some of the competitors he listed that need to be watched out for in the modern pharmacy world are companies like Amazon and Google. Amazon was reported to be attempting to enter into the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry earlier in the year.

Peterburg believes that there is no easy solution to the issue and that it’s not as straightforward as one would expect. This is due to the fact that the industry is, according to him, “not moving at the same pace.”

“It’s very, very difficult, especially for incumbents, to find the right way and where to move,” he noted. “That’s why we have to do it by collaboration maybe with start-ups, with small companies and try to find the solution.”

What this collaboration would mean for the hundreds of thousands of individuals working in the industry (there were 397,430 pharmacy technicians working in the U.S alone in 2015), is unknown.




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