Pharma operations:  Creating the workforce of the future

Future of pharma operations

Pharma companies are experiencing a wave of innovations – from new treatment modalities, to smart machines, advanced analytics, and digital connectivity. This selection of articles presents strategies and insights to capitalize on these innovations and advance quality, efficiency, resilience, and workforce agility in pharma operations.

Our insights


The Helix report: Is biopharma wired for future success?

– The biopharmaceutical industry has made remarkable achievements in the past decade, but is it equipped to leap still further ahead in the coming one? Company leaders’ answers to nine questions could prove decisive.

Emerging from disruption: The future of pharma operations strategy

– To maintain profitable and resilient operations, CEOs and COOs of pharma companies may need to make bold changes to their operations strategy as the industry navigates new challenges.

Against the odds: How life sciences companies excel in large transformations

– Life sciences companies pursuing a step change in performance have obtained mixed results. Adhering to five principles can greatly improve the odds of a large transformation program succeeding.

Driving sustainable, enterprise-wide performance acceleration

– Leading pharma companies are achieving rapid, large-scale performance improvements using a multifaceted approach that realizes short-term gains and builds long-term capabilities at the same time.

Four ways to make sure your pharma manufacturing strategy delivers value

– COVID-19 disruptions have led many pharmas to reassess their manufacturing networks and strategies. We share four ways that pharma companies can optimize manufacturing and avoid common pitfalls.

Embedding ‘smart quality’ culture and capabilities in the organization

– Pharmaceutical and medical-device companies can get the most value from “smart quality” processes enabled with new technologies by adopting a holistic approach to building culture and capabilities.

Operations can launch the next blockbuster in pharma

– Pharma operations has long centered on avoiding missteps, especially in quality and compliance. But with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, operations could launch pharma’s next innovation blockbuster.

Clinical supply chains: How to boost excellence and innovation

– Clinical trials have increased in number and have become more complex, decentralized, and patient-centric. While this puts pressure on clinical drug supply, it also brings new opportunities.

Four ways pharma companies can make their supply chains more resilient

– Pharmaceutical supply chains have become global and complex. With more outsourcing, new modalities, and novel ways to reach patients, it’s critical to ensure that they can withstand shocks.

Unlocking step-change improvements in biologic fermentation

– A new era for expression-system optimization has arrived, prompted by advances in genetic sequencing, editing, analytics, and automation.

Leveraging digital and analytics in biopharma operations: Six principles

– Digital and analytics is a powerful tool for transforming operational performance. To maximize its benefits, biopharma companies can follow six principles.

Digitization, automation, and online testing: Embracing smart quality control

– The smart quality approach allows pharma companies to digitize, automate, and integrate their quality controls, making them faster, more effective, and more efficient.

Making quality assurance smart

– Pharmaceutical and medtech companies can dramatically improve quality assurance processes by applying a ‘smart quality’ lens and cutting-edge technologies.

Smart quality: Reimagining the way quality works

– Pharma and medtech companies that adopt a proactive approach to managing the quality function can generate value far beyond improved regulatory compliance.

Why tech transfer may be critical to beating COVID-19

– How quickly COVID-19 vaccine production ramps up will depend on technology transfer—the capabilities and processes that can speed vaccines from development to manufacturing. Are we ready?

Pharma operations: The path to recovery and the next normal

– Pharma operations leaders have increased their focus on network risk management, agile and transparent operations, and shaping the workforce of the future in the post-COVID-19 path to recovery.

Featured capability

New McKinsey center to help transform and digitally enable cell- and gene-therapy manufacturing

McKinsey Digital Capability Center for Cell and Gene Therapy joins McKinsey’s fast-growing global network of Digital Capability Centers—immersive learning environments that inspire and equip organizations in achieving digital-enabled transformations and operational excellence.