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About this practice
What we do
We are the leading consultancy for pharmaceutical and medical product companies. We have supported our clients on over 3,750 projects in the past five years. Among other accomplishments, we have helped build 8 of top 10 prescription brands and have supported 8 of the 10 largest M&A transactions in the industry.
We are the industry’s leading consultancy on strategy, but that accounts for less than one-third of our work. We are also the leading consultancy on R&D, operations, and commercial topics. Our broad range of work gives us a comprehensive perspective on many of the issues our clients face:
- How to achieve growth, both locally and abroad
- How to prioritize R&D investment
- How to create distinctive products in a crowded marketplace
- How to maintain profitability in the face of pricing pressures
- How to navigate healthcare reform
Over 80 percent of our projects are done for clients who have asked us to come back to do more work. We help them connect the dots, linking facts to uncover insights and opportunities. Our clients appreciate the way we challenge them and push their thinking. We work side-by-side with them, believing that great ideas can come from anyone, that mentoring and collaboration matter, and that everyone at the table should have the obligation to dissent.
Our work often starts with a problem, but doesn’t end until our clients have developed lasting capabilities. We recently helped develop a training program for 2500 marketing staff at a top-10 pharmaceutical house; we helped another firm develop leadership training for the top teams of its Asian businesses; we have rolled out hands-on lean capability building programs in various pharmaceutical and medical products factories.
Who we are
Indeed, there is a doctor in the house. We have 1,700 consultants with significant healthcare experience, including more than 150 physicians and 250 consultants with advanced degrees in genetics, immunology, biochemical engineering, neurobiology, and other life sciences. We also have more than 75 consultants with advanced degrees in public health, healthcare management, and related fields.
To gain additional insights, we consult with a network of external experts who serve on McKinsey’s Standing Therapeutic Areas Teams (STATs) for diabetes, oncology CNS, and other major disease areas. Overall, the STATs Advisory Boards include more than 120 world class external advisors who are key opinion leaders in their fields.
McKinsey helps shape the healthcare landscape by convening major conferences. For instance, we have recruited leaders from the pharmaceutical industry to speak at the World Economic Forum. We also convened the Generic Manufacturer CEO Summit. We helped develop a roundtable aimed at advancing Regulatory Science, which was attended by industry experts and leaders of the US Food and Drug Administration.
McKinsey has participated in worldwide initiatives designed to improve public health and help the pharmaceutical and medical product industries advance. A few examples:
- In Africa, we are partnering with a consortium of pharmaceutical companies and UNAIDS to design AIDS prevention and treatment strategies.
- In an Asian country, we helped the government create its new healthcare policy.
- In a Middle Eastern country, we assisted the President in developing the country’s strategy to become an innovation hub in brain research and neurotechnology.
- In India, we have partnered with an association for pharmaceutical companies to build a long-term perspective on the industry.
- In a European country, we helped the government investigate the possibility of developing life-sciences clusters.
Research and insights
McKinsey spends over $300 million each year on developing new intellectual capital. At PMP, we have invested in primary research to create cutting-edge tools, training programs, and databases. Examples include:
- Benchmarking tools for R&D performance (SuccessLab), commercial performance (Insights PharmaCo and Launch Tracker), clinical operations (Clinical Trial Impact), pharmaceutical operations (POBOS), and medical affairs (MAPES)
- We have drawn on more than 120,000 data points from our proprietary Organizational Health Index, covering hundreds of companies in every industry, to create best practices for improving long-term performance and health at pharmaceutical companies.
For more information, visit the Tools & Solutions page.
An integrated view
McKinsey’s deep experience in the healthcare industry helps us provide our PMP clients with integrated insights. For example, we collaborate closely with other McKinsey practices on cross-over topics—Chemicals and Operations practices on active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), High Tech on medical products, Consumer Goods on consumer healthcare, and Marketing and Sales on consumer insights. We also consult with specialized internal groups, including:
- The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), our economics research arm, which examines critical issues facing businesses and governments worldwide
- Objective Health, which empowers healthcare providers to make more informed decisions and ensure sustainable results through deep analytics, expertise, and proprietary tools
- The Health Systems Institute, which helps our clients create value in healthcare through building communities among health systems, sharing performance improvement ideas and best practices and advanced data analytics
- NM Incite, a joint venture with Nielsen, which combines consulting capabilities with extensive media data and analytics to help companies more effectively use social media to meet their business goals