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Biopharma Can Reduce the Cost of Bringing A Treatment to Market by More Than US$1 Billion, According to Accenture Report

10/26/2021 | 08:00am EST

Savings could be passed on to patients to improve affordability and access

A new report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) identifies three steps biopharmaceutical organizations could take to reduce the average cost of discovering and developing a treatment by more than US$1 billion. Furthermore, it could potentially create additional future revenue opportunities of up to US$450 million per treatment.

The report, titled “From Billions to Millions: Faster innovation. Greater R&D productivity” notes that the cost of bringing a successful treatment to market is between US$2.6 billion and $6.7 billion, depending on therapeutic area, treatment modality and disease complexity. However, the combined use of “New Science” (which is a unique combination of the best in science and health technology that address significant unmet patient needs); digital and data-led research; and faster, smarter development could improve R&D productivity including lowering the cost of bringing a new treatment to market by between US$1.2 billion and US$1.7 billion.

The healthcare ecosystem is under significant price pressure at both the system and patient levels. The affordability gap in developed markets is predicted to reach an estimated $300B by 2028.[i] The average US premium for family coverage has increased 55% over the last ten years, and almost 30% of patients report not taking their medicine as prescribed due to cost. By leveraging the three strategic steps for R&D described in our report, biopharma companies could make an exponential leap and critically reduce the cost of discovering and developing treatments with the right focus on enabling capabilities. These steps are:

  • Focus more on New Science: This includes a spectrum of treatments that solve for a clear, unmet need through a new mechanism, modality or health technology — such as new cell therapies and curative gene therapies — and often require a new technology device or diagnostics for their development or as a companion to treatment.
  • Use more digital and data-led research: Transform the way research is done by collapsing the separation layers between scientists and patient data and between biopharma, biotechnology, and academic institutions. For example, treatment makers could identify disease-specific signatures and biomarkers through real-world data including outcomes and histology data to improve disease understanding and identify, validate and optimize targets that have a lower risk of failing during development.
  • Deliver faster, smarter development: Reimagine clinical development by leveraging machine learning and multi-modal, real-world data to power patient-centric design, formulate trial strategy and assess risks. The aim is to maximize benefits while reducing operational costs with smaller cohorts, faster timelines and fewer clinical trial sites.

The enabling capabilities to realize value from these steps include data and advanced analytics, digital and automation technologies, cloud-flexible infrastructure, working with ecosystem partnerships and developing a culture and talent-base that embraces new technologies.

“Employing new, data-driven approaches to rewrite the productivity equation and enable price reductions will broaden the access to and impact of New Science treatments,” said Stuart Henderson, a senior managing director at Accenture who leads its Life Sciences industry group globally, “ultimately positioning biopharmaceutical organizations to bring life-enhancing treatments to people faster and in more accessible and affordable ways.”

The steps outlined in the report can help significantly reduce costs and speed treatments to market up to five years, creating additional future revenue opportunities of $150-450M. The savings and revenue opportunity will be unique for each company and vary depending on where the biopharma companies are on their journeys to innovate and bring treatments to market more timely and efficiently. Read the full report here.

Accenture’s Life Sciences industry group helps pharmaceutical, biotech, medical technology, distributor and consumer health companies combine the latest technology with scientific breakthroughs to revolutionize how medical treatments are discovered, developed and delivered to patients around the world. To learn more, visit https://www.accenture.com/us-en/industries/life-sciences-index.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services — all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 624,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

Copyright ©2021 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture and its logo are registered trademarks of Accenture

[i] Accenture Research Analysis leveraging Evaluate data, 2018.

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