What role does West Pharmaceutical Services play in the larger scene of the pharma industry and how do you manage to remain relevant in this fast-paced field?
If you’ve ever been vaccinated, or if you or a loved one has ever taken an injected medicine, you’ve probably come in contact with a West product. West is a global leader in high-quality drug packaging and delivery systems for injectable medicines, and this year we celebrate our 100-year anniversary, a milestone that few companies achieve. Most importantly, our purpose has remained the same: improving patients' lives across the globe. Through the efforts of our 10,000 team members, we manufacture over 45 billion products per year.
During the pandemic, we estimate that we supported over 8 billion doses of COVID vaccines, and we continued to play a pivotal role with helping bring new medicines to market with our products supporting many of the biologics and biosimilars approved in 2022.
Our purpose is backed by our company’s philosophy that every component we make has a patient's name on it. It is truly amazing that we get to see our impact firsthand through the patient testimonials shared by our customers and personal team member stories of their healthcare experiences and the critical importance that an injectable drug played in their treatment and recovery.
To maintain our global leadership position, we build close partnerships with our customers to understand their changing needs, the healthcare trends driving the market and the required investment in innovations to meet those needs including high-quality components and state-of-the art delivery systems. We are in a highly regulated industry that is evolving rapidly and having insight into the changing regulations and needs of new and complex molecules being designed is pivotal to us supporting our customers and the patients we jointly serve.
The life sciences sector is a highly collaborative one; what role do partnerships play in your business model?
Partnership is key to accelerating the development and delivery of new healthcare innovations to the market. We have strategic partnerships and investments with both large and small companies, providing partners access to West’s extensive scientific, global manufacturing, and commercial capabilities. We have a long-standing partnership with Daikyo to innovate elastomer solutions. And more recently, we joined forces with Corning to build the next generation of leading elastomer-glass system solutions for containment and delivery of injectable medicines.
Are there any specific market fields that you see more opportunities coming today?
We are excited about the future of medicine as we work with customers and their pipelines of future injectable drug treatments. There are several drugs that have been launched or are expected to be launched that have the potential to be transformative in the treatment of conditions such as metabolic diseases and chronic neurologic conditions. We also see a large pipeline of cell and gene therapies in development to treat conditions such as cancers and rare diseases. Many of these pipeline drugs are complex molecules that require special storage conditions, and we are working with customers on solutions and systems to contain and deliver their drugs.
Our innovation is not only working with new drugs but also the delivery of standard drugs. We are on our journey of creating a unique therapeutic experience across the complex ecosystem of healthcare with a focus on wearable drug delivery systems. SmartDose®, our flagship product for wearable devices, allows a drug to be delivered in the convenience of the patient's home and can be used both for IVs and subcutaneous injections.
What does the medical industry look like at the tail end of the pandemic and what are the prospects for the future?
As we have seen during the pandemic, agility is crucial for the success of a business. The ability to act fast and to pull the whole supply chain together in a cohesive way are two of the ingredients that helped fuel the success of developing, manufacturing, and distributing vaccines in less than twelve months from start to finish. The past few years have been a reminder that the world doesn’t stand still. The needs of the healthcare industry are evolving and growing in complexity, from novel molecules and therapies to the increasing expectations of patients to shift treatment options from the hospital to the home setting. Some of the fundamentals that we were looking at 15 years ago are now playing out today, so the next decade is surely going to be populated with many more scientific innovations. West will continue to maintain its product portfolio while growing with the modernization of drug development by focusing on digitizing our products. This requires operational effectiveness by leveraging our global scale and continued investment to ensure product superiority through manufacturing and quality excellence. Since 2020, we have invested more than $400 million globally to expand capacity and deliver on the business demand. As technology advances, and as the home-based healthcare market expands, West will continue to adapt, develop, and engineer innovative platforms to enable greater patient adherence.
Which main goals are West Pharmaceuticals trying to achieve in the coming five years?
Our industry is getting increasingly more sophisticated with new technology and connected medical devices - this requires leadership that dares to be different and building innovation around these unmet needs. Finding effective ways to deliver new technologies to patients is equally important to innovating them and we are adamant on finding the most suitable solutions for this task. As the need shifts for more combination products and hospitals to home, our goal is to continue to improve the overall patient experience. We are leveraging the connectivity possibilities of our SmartDose® technology and investing in R&D innovations that will allow us to have an even greater impact on the world, as we firmly stand by the side of our customers and patients, in new and exciting ways.
- Share on: