Procurement in Pharma: What are the major challenges in 2024?

As we progress through 2024, the pharmaceutical industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, driven by technological advancements, regulatory changes, and shifting market dynamics. Within this dynamic landscape, procurement emerges as a critical function, tasked with navigating complex supply chains, ensuring product quality and compliance, and driving cost efficiencies.

However, as we delve deeper into the intricacies of procurement in pharma, it becomes evident that several challenges loom large on the horizon. At Accelerate, our team has a wealth of experience in working with the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences sector, both as a buyer of and a provider into. In this blog post, we will explore the major challenges facing procurement professionals in the pharmaceutical industry in 2024.

1. Supply Chain Disruptions

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the vulnerability of global supply chains, exposing weaknesses and disruptions across industries, including pharmaceuticals. Procurement professionals are grappling with the repercussions of these disruptions, including raw material shortages, transportation delays, and fluctuating demand patterns. As we navigate the post-pandemic landscape, building resilient supply chains and mitigating risks through strategic sourcing and supplier diversification remain top priorities for procurement teams.

2. Regulatory Compliance

The pharmaceutical industry is subject to stringent regulatory requirements, aimed at safeguarding patient safety and ensuring product efficacy. Procurement professionals must navigate a complex web of regulations governing everything from raw material sourcing to manufacturing processes and distribution channels. Staying abreast of evolving regulatory landscapes, maintaining robust documentation, and implementing rigorous quality assurance measures are essential to ensure compliance and mitigate regulatory risks.

3. Rising Costs

The cost of pharmaceutical procurement continues to escalate, driven by factors such as increasing raw material prices, regulatory compliance costs, and heightened demand for innovative therapies. Procurement professionals are under pressure to identify cost-saving opportunities without compromising on product quality or patient safety. Implementing strategic sourcing initiatives, negotiating favourable pricing agreements, and exploring alternative sourcing options are strategies that can help mitigate the impact of rising costs.

4. Quality Assurance and Product Integrity

Maintaining product quality and integrity is paramount in the pharmaceutical industry, where even minor deviations can have profound implications for patient safety and regulatory compliance. Procurement professionals must work closely with suppliers to ensure adherence to stringent quality standards throughout the supply chain. Implementing robust quality assurance processes, conducting thorough supplier audits, and fostering a culture of quality excellence are essential to safeguarding product integrity and maintaining regulatory compliance.

5. Technological Disruption

The pharmaceutical industry is witnessing a wave of technological disruption, with advancements in areas such as artificial intelligence, automation, and data analytics reshaping traditional procurement practices. Procurement professionals must embrace digital transformation initiatives to enhance efficiency, agility, and decision-making capabilities. Leveraging advanced analytics to gain actionable insights, implementing digital procurement platforms to streamline processes, and harnessing the power of predictive analytics to anticipate market trends are strategies that can drive procurement excellence in the digital age.

Procurement in Pharma: how Accelerate can help

Procurement in the pharmaceutical industry faces a myriad of challenges in 2024, ranging from supply chain disruptions and regulatory compliance to rising costs and technological disruption. However, amidst these challenges lie opportunities for innovation, collaboration, and transformation.

By embracing strategic sourcing, fostering supplier partnerships, and leveraging technology, procurement professionals can navigate the complexities of the pharmaceutical landscape and drive sustainable value for their organisations and the patients they serve.

At Accelerate Procurement, we are experienced in working with the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector, from client side and supplier advisory, through to delivery management on a range of projects. If your pharmaceutical organisation requires support, we can help to unlock the full potential of your procurement function.

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, get in touch with Accelerate today for a friendly chat.