Pharmaceutical Trends and developments to watch in 2023

During the COVID-19 period, the pharmaceutical industry was characterized by fast-paced research that continuously put the entire healthcare sector on a rise. Different technologies and solutions were employed to combat the spread of the pandemic and prepared the industry for new challenges. Today, with more crises potentially awaiting the corner, there is an openness across the industry to embrace new technologies with a sense of urgency. Below are the top trends and developments that will enable new drug development and improve activities in the pharmaceutical industry.

  1. Logistics and supply chain of life-saving medicine.

The supply chain sector in the pharmaceutical industry has had the past challenging times. Companies had to adapt to new technologies that would ensure continuous support for hospital distribution services, patient transportation during the pandemic, emergency response situations, and pharma home and hospital deliveries. The use of different digital solutions to support the scheduling, supply chain management, and supply chain optimization workflows during critical periods has been proven to enhance medicine accessibility, quality, and affordability. European pharma manufacturers are continuously working together with governments, NGOs, and logistic providers to increase cold-chain logistic infrastructure that will ensure the delivery of life-saving medicines to the global population.

  1. The implementation of digital workflows

In 2020, the pandemic not only created a sense of urgency in drug development but also accelerated the process design and communications hence creating a readiness for a crisis. As a continuous trend for 2023, pharmaceutical companies are planning to continue embracing new technologies and distance themselves from the manual workflows that might risk clerical errors and the integrity of their research.

Technologies in the pharmaceutical industry include digital batch execution management, electronic lab notebooks, and factory dashboards that are set to alleviate any potential mistakes within the process of drug discovery. As per the European Medical Device Regulations, every batch of investigational medicinal product used in the region needs to be certified and realized by a qualified person. Hence implementing digital batch execution management systems, electronic notebooks and factory dashboards have further ensured that every production batch has been produced and controlled in accordance with relevant EU legal requirements, regulations, control and release regulation of medicinal products. 

Hence the digital workflows in 2023 are an important trend that manufacturers of medical products outside the EU have to implement. On top of this, manufacturers have to be aware of the different labeling and packaging procedures within the EU and foresee how digital workflows such as factory dashboards can help in automating these processes. This would ensure the quality of all imports within the European Union.

HEA - New labelling requirements

  1. Efficient forecasting during unplanned downtimes and disruptions.

There have been tendencies to lean on the physical assets that support all developments, manufacturing, and disruption operations and in many cases, legacy assets will need to be repurposed.  Several technologies are put in place to support the prediction and maintenance of pharma equipment. This will further help in the mitigation of unplanned equipment shutdowns and potential supply disruptions.

In addition to this trend, it is important for North American manufacturers to prepare for potential outsourcing opportunities in times of European downtimes and disruptions. In the past couple of months, more pharmaceutical companies in Europe have employed the pharmaceutical outsourcing strategy to ensure continuity in the supply of medicines globally. The European pharmaceutical industry has had some progress in this action, however, there are still some critical activities like understanding and developing tolerance towards cultural differences and crisis management. 

  1. The importance of raw data

When it comes to analyzing pharma trends and developments in 2023, it is important to analyze whether existing data streams offer limited value. In the past, data was not sufficient for critical monitoring, control, and release workflows. However, in 2022, the topic of making raw data more useful and accessible in the industry became popular.

In July 2022, EMA launched a pilot project on the analysis of raw data from clinical trials. This is constituted of individual patient data from clinical studies in electronic structured formats that are directly accessible for analysis and visualization. As a major trend and development, the European medicines regulatory system will use data from manufacturers who are submitting market authorization applications or post-authorization applications. This development is expected to improve the effectiveness and reliability of drug discovery and resting in 2023. Given this pilot might offer faster commercialization, cost-efficient productions, and better lead times, North American manufacturers should take this European pilot project to enrich their operations.  

  1. The use of simulation and modeling technologies to enhance research and development.

One of the common characteristics of a crisis environment is the need to develop and scale up new processes in a timely manner with limited material resources. This is where mechanistic modeling of key process operations can play a pivotal role in the process of drug discovery. For instance, during the pandemic, VirtaMed initiated tours across Europe to support continued medical stimulation education and arranged workshops for residents across France Switzerland, and Germany. News ways of supplying medical training with the latest simulation solutions were implemented. In countries like Switzerland, mobile surgical simulation labs have been widely adopted hence creating better ways for drug companies to train different stakeholders without compromising the quality of the process. Henceforth, it is important to indicate that this trend and development in the European pharmaceutical market is expected to witness considerable growth in 2023 


To be able to catch up to the growing trends in the European Pharma market, manufacturers should adapt to different technologies. These have proved to affect the whole product life cycle, from research and development to the logistics and supply chain. Importers into the European pharma industry should start with new strategies now. In the past years, the market has already demonstrated the ability to grow even during crises. Henceforth, new players should involve with haste and build resilience for this year. 

Read more: Laboratory equipments, in-vitro diagnostics, and pharmaceuticals

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