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February 2022 marked my completing 47 years of working in Pharma Industry. Allah be praised. I am still working. My journey of near half century is also the journey of Pharma Industry in Pakistan. Great changes have occurred in this time and a lot could be written about it. In my blogs, which were started about four and a half years ago, I have covered several topics related to Pakistan Pharma Industry. This multi-part series is the SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats – Analysis of the Pharma Industry and propose strategies.
When I started this topic, it was not intended to go to such length. But as the discussion progressed, newer points kept arising which needed to be addressed. It took 54 blog posts, 18 weeks, and over 45,000 words to complete. It is almost a book, and I am seriously considering compiling it as a book. Do share your thoughts on it.
Pharma industry is an interesting industry. Or maybe it seems interesting to me because it has been my core industry since I started working. I had small detours to other industries, but fate kept me bringing back.
Pakistani Pharma industry has really bloomed over time. It has served the people, competed with the MNCs, and made a fortune for its owners. They say, behind all big businesses, there is a crime. Pharma industry is no exception. Some pharma companies were able to get their way around, although it is a highly regulated industry. It is not about quality; it is about other factors.
The success of Local Pharma may be gauged from the fact that among top 50 companies who hold 90% market, only 13 are MNCs, with a collective volume of around 165 billion only out of nearly 550 billion. The top slots are occupied by the Pakistani companies. The story of such huge change, development and achievement must be a great one; and it is. It would take another book to tell that story, and I shall if time permits me. During the course of this discussion, I had digressed often and ventured into that arena.
Why did I choose to do SWOT analysis of the industry? There are several reasons. One, SWOT is a standard tool to analyze and understand any corporate or its various dimensions; two, the industry is at a point where it must do soul searching; three, the industry growth has been extraordinary and phenomenal, and it has been accepted as a way of life, but market and country dynamics may not be conducive for it. It is therefore necessary to pause, take stock, and make necessary adjustments to stay on course. We have discussed these factors in detail in various blogposts of this series.
Pharma industry is in dire need of reassessing its internal Strengths, Weaknesses, and Opportunities, Threats in the marketplace. I have done lot of effort to identify much, but there may be more to find. I have analyzed the factors, matched them, overlapped them, grouped them in various combinations and have devised guiding strategies which are robust, dependable, and doable. I would urge the Pharma professionals to go through this series which is expected to give them much to ponder and implement.
Finally, no work is ever final, because time keeps changing and new aspects and information keeps adding up. Without getting into self-praise, I believe that this series shall remain relevant for a long time.
I must thank all readers who read every post and waited for the next one to come. I am deeply grateful to them for their attention, appreciation, and encouragement.
Pharmaceutical business is more population-based than economy-based. People shall get treatment, no matter what they must do to pay for it. Pharma business therefore is a guaranteed business. This is not the point, however.
Economies of countries like ours are under huge pressure due to years of corruption, mismanagement, and incompetence. It gives leverage to stronger economies to make inroads and take over local industry. Most businessmen would be happy to sell their business for a good amount in dollars and settle abroad. It has happened on a smaller scale, and it will happen again. The lure of dollar will increase further as our rupee loses more value.
The takeovers are done on the premise of providing better quality and better services. It may not materialize, but the event had already taken place.
Local Pharma companies of Pakistan must be more united to face the onslaughts of various kinds. It must take the quality of products as a religious binding and work to bring it at par with desired standards.
Local Pharma companies must embrace the new developments taking place in their domain, accept them and follow them.
The competition with MNCs should continue but bringing in new research products must also be made possible. Patients need new, innovative therapies and generic versions cannot supply these.
I and lot of people like me, who have spent a lifetime in the industry, feel strongly for it. Our efforts, prayers, and wishes shall always be with the industry.
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