Life Sciences

In High Demand: Why Clinical Procurement and Supply Chain Leaders have the Upper Hand

By Cedric Tay in New York

In High Demand: Why Clinical Procurement and Supply Chain Leaders have the Upper Hand

Life sciences is a highly regulated and complex space that requires professionals with specialist skill sets to work across a number of functions. In the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical sectors, there is shortage of candidates with the background and experience necessary to step into roles at different levels across all stages of innovation and development.

To bring a commercial product to market, life science companies target one (or several) therapeutic areas for treatment. They identify potentially effective compounds to run through a series of trials with the aim of successfully navigating through the milestone approval stages from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Years before getting to this eventual manufacturing stage, companies invest heavily, dedicate resources and rely upon their operations teams to juggle the clinical materials and services required by scientists and engineers. On the fringes of this work, there are two critical functions that enable studies to run seamlessly: procurement and supply chain. 

The role of procurement has evolved over the past decade thanks to a shifting global market and advancements in technology; this is also true about research and development roles in the pharmaceuticals sector. The amount of time it takes to develop a product and the rising costs of bringing it to market mean that companies are looking to improve their productivity by making their operations more efficient. 

When it comes to supply chain in life sciences, the traditional model has changed due to the increasingly complex nature of the industry. Challenges today include: strict regulatory demands, access to bulk material, manufacturing delays, abrupt changes to clinical trial timelines, inability to maintain the supply of drugs to patients and even oversupply due to inaccurate forecasting as drugs have a short shelf life and may expire before they are used.

The importance of procurement roles and adaptable supply chains in life sciences is therefore fundamental. When the supply chain runs smoothly, it keeps the clinical team on track towards delivery and outcomes. It is highly critical that modern procurement professionals are expected to have a strategic outlook rather than a purely administrative function.

Individuals working in the life sciences industry—biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals in particular—are remunerated well and sought after across the globe. As a recruiter with a deep focus in these functions within these specific sectors, I have personally observed a gap in the talent pool for such roles. 

This means that if you are a professional with skills relevant to research and development procurement and clinical supply chain in life sciences, you are in high demand. If you are thinking about moving and exploring opportunities within these areas, this would be an opportune time to explore your options.

For clients looking for individuals to fill roles in these sectors and functions, why not contact me to have an informal discussion about how Proco Global can help your business?

Like this? Head to www.procoglobal.com/proco-thinking for a fresh take on all things supply chain.

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About the author

Cedric specialises in to recruiting Senior Managers to C-suite executives exclusively across the North American Life Sciences sectors focusing on Procurement hires.

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