Globalisation or the growth of a market through worldwide relations is currently leading to many new innovations and trends within the healthcare industry being more readily available globally.  Sharing of these worldwide advances can improve on current practices through lowering production costs, increased investments between countries and a greater amount of innovations being produced globally. This in turn improves current treatments and standards of care.

Globalisation has been shown to be vital in providing the healthcare industry with improved standards of care and treatments which is why it is one of our top ten trends.

Sharing Advances in the Pharmaceutical Industry

An example of the use of globalisation within the pharmaceutical industry is the engagement of financial assets in large continents such as Asia and America in order to assist in pharmaceutical advances worldwide. Large companies within Asia producing many pharmacological innovations include Chinese firm, Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd and Japanese, Eisai, who also operate worldwide.

Asia is a vast continent with access to both government and private funds, thus giving it an advantage over other nations in being able to finance scientific research and further advances within the pharmaceutical industry.

Large state owned Asian pharmaceutical firm, Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd, has been utilising its large assets in order to manufacture, trade and conduct scientific research into furthering pharmacological developments. It has recently been seen to expand, boasting an even bigger selection of drugs available, over 18,000 staff, 12 affiliated pharmaceutical companies and total assets amounting to 14.65 billion Yuan.

Saving Lives & Improving on Patient Care

Through sharing both new developments and drug innovations between nations, current treatments are not only more readily available in other continents at an earlier convenience, but are cheaper – this not only acts to improve patient care but saves and extends lives. Examples of new life saving drugs available in 2012 are Erivedge (vismodegib) for treating basal cell carcinoma (Genentech) and Votrient (pazopanib) for soft tissue sarcoma (GlaxoSmithKline).

Therefore, Globalisation has a huge impact on improving patient care as it can lead to more accessible treatment options, illnesses being treated sooner and a much higher standard of care can be adopted. Significantly, this also helps to lessen the impact that shortfalls in the global economy are having on the standards of care delivered in certain countries and further healthcare reform.

Patients worldwide are also increasing expectations on global healthcare standards, which drugs should be available and when and how to best reform healthcare by voicing their opinions in online forums such as http://www.myhealthtalk.org/. These initiatives are driving new innovations to become more global and starting new global trends.

Globalisation and its effect on safety within the pharmaceutical industry

Although globalisation within the pharmaceutical industry is widely thought to be vastly improving the standards of care and treatment options for patients, caution needs to be taken when considering safety. With the absence of worldwide, universal safety standards, it is a big concern that high safety standards are not always adopted during distribution and manufacture of drug products. This was recently recognised by U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator who suggested a review of the law to make drug wholesalers and dispensers adopt track and trace technologies. These technologies could provide better control over the supply chain by using advancements such as bar codes and GPS tags.

International drug safety may be improved with better communication and collaboration amongst all involved within the worldwide pharmaceutical industry (manufacturers, suppliers, shippers and distributers). This would not only aid in improving safety but would produce products which are made to higher standards.

Better collaboration would assist the industry to effectively use research and innovation in order to create new best practices thus providing safer, more cost effective and efficient treatment options. With providing optimum standards of patient care being the main goal of in all involved in the healthcare industry, a planned strategy to achieve this worldwide is essential in utilising globalisation effectively within the pharmaceutical industry.

Image credit: Is time Linear by Philipp Klinger Photography

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