As a fast-pitch softball pitcher who had a tendency to favor speed over accuracy, I often found myself pitching out of jams -- runners in scoring position, less than two outs and big hitters on deck. For a pitcher, getting out of a jam requires channeling every bit of focus and ability into each pitch, usually at a time when distractions are rampant.
“Jams” are not exclusive to baseball. Denounced for exorbitant drug prices and executive salaries, branded as greedy and unwilling to change, and often criticized for focusing more on patent extension methods and litigation than drug innovation, the pharmaceutical industry’s image is in a bit of a jam - and the spotlight is on the industry to pitch itself out.
Meanwhile, distractions are coming from every direction. Take, for example, a former pharma CEO who can’t seem to keep his mouth shut even after being indicted on federal charges. Or a 400% price hike on epinephrine-delivery system then sent the public into a state of outrage. And I’d of course be remiss not to mention how statements from political figures can TRUMP even the most positive developments.
Hence, it’s more important than ever to celebrate those players who, despite current distractions, are rising above the noise and producing great technological innovation. In this month’s All-Star Innovator issue, we are excited to bring you what we think is a winning roster of technologies from the pharmaceutical industry’s most respected and talented suppliers.
Our editorial “scouts” have spent the last year at tradeshows, conferences and events seeking out new technological advancements that we think will truly help drug manufacturers improve their performance. Our diverse roster spans across all categories of equipment and includes innovations such as closures that build desiccant technology into induction-seal caps, the first gloveless robotic isolator, the world’s only manufacturing plant digital twin, a “fake stomach” technology used to test bioavailability of drugs and so much more.
The ducks are definitely on the pond for equipment suppliers. The 2017 Pharmaceutical Equipment Buying Trends survey from Nice Insight points to a huge potential opportunity for companies offering pharma equipment: a 73% increase in equipment buying budgets from 2014 to 2016. Additionally, 38% of those surveyed have an annual equipment purchasing budget of more than $100 million.
Smart pharmaceutical equipment suppliers are stepping up to the plate, paying close attention to the needs of their customers, and using that feedback to develop products that offer solutions tailored specifically to the pharmaceutical industry’s unique demands.
We are proud to have the opportunity in this issue to recognize and celebrate great pharmaceutical technologies. Please check out our cover story as we highlight and applaud those who have distinguished themselves as true All-Stars in pharmaceutical equipment innovation.