CPhI Festival of Pharma

CPhI Pharma Index survey reveals minds of CEOs

By Jenni Spinner

- Last updated on GMT

(Nadzeya_Dzivakova/iStock via Getty Images Plus)
(Nadzeya_Dzivakova/iStock via Getty Images Plus)

Related tags Executive officer Ceo China India CPhI Worldwide

The survey, unveiled ahead of next week's CPhI Festival of Pharma, reveals perspectives, concerns and future plans of more than 500 industry executives.

The CPhI Pharma Index, which checked in with more than 550 pharmaceutical industry CEOs, is an aggregated confidence score across the five main small-molecule categories in each of the world’s largest economies. Outsourcing-Pharma (OSP) discussed with Cara Turner, brand director at CPhI Festival of Pharma, findings of the survey as well as the show’s AI Matchmaking feature.

OSP: Could you please explain in a nutshell what the CPhI Pharma Index is—what it looks at, what it is intended to reveal, and how the information might be of use?

CT: The CPhI Pharma Index is an annualized assessment produced as part of the CPhI Annual Report. It collateralizes scores across five industry categories for the major pharma economies.

Essentially, this serves as a barometer to reveal the perceived overall strength of the small molecule pharma industry. The higher the score, the stronger the overall industry is perceived to be and, with the exception of 2020, it has been rising steadily since its launch four years ago.

The factors assessed in the index are ‘growth potential, ‘quality of API manufacturing’, ‘quality of finished dose manufacturing’, ‘competitiveness’ and ‘innovation’.

OSP: Could you share what you feel are the most notable, and/or surprising, findings?

CT: One surprising finding was that India (7.37) topped the growth potential ranking for the first time - despite a slight score decrease. The shift is due to China’s 11.93% decrease from the previous year, making it the biggest yearly score decrease in the category since the survey began – historically China has been perceived as having by far the strongest growth potential; that said, the score still remains high and our report suggests that China will likely see a bounce back in 2021.

Another interesting finding in the ‘API manufacturing’ category was that Italy (7.04) rose up the rankings into fifth place with the biggest score increase (5.58%) from 2019. The move puts them only behind Germany in the European market.

It is believed that Italy, Europe’s primary API hub, may be the leading beneficiary of increasing near-shoring of manufacturing - which has generated much global interest as a result of the pandemic.

OSP: Do you think you could share some of the reasons behind the pharma industry weathering the pandemic relatively well?

Cara Turner, brand director, CPhI Festival of Pharma

CT: Undoubtedly there were some disruptions to the supply chain, but pharma was able to operate at reasonable levels throughout the pandemic and has benefitted from multi-sourcing strategies – which is why CPhI plays such an essential role in maintaining a robust and flexible supply line. But we were also fortunate that as the pandemic moved more severely into the West, operations in China had come back to near full capacity.

It is also why many attendees at the Festival are looking for new geographically diverse suppliers, so that they can ensure even greater flexibility in resources.

OSP: Could you please explain how the AI Matchmaking event will work?

CT: The AI-driven matchmaking platform serves to give users the most productive and complementary matches based on their individual user information. We developed a brand-new user registration system in order to capture greater detail about not just the company, but also the individual user and their specific job role requirements.

OSP: What do you hope the matchmaking event participants will get from it—what benefits, new knowledge, contacts and other things will they come away with?

CT: The idea behind implementing the AI-driven matchmaking service was to try and emulate those unplanned moments that you find at the in-person CPhI events. Those moments when you explore the show floor and come across a company unexpectedly, which could ultimately result in new business. It has already proven very successful and is helping bring together new partnerships – perhaps between companies that had not been previously aware of each other’s suitability. It’s essentially doing the early stage research or short-listing for our attendees.

OSP: How do they sign up?

CT: You can register to attend the CPhI: Festival of Pharma on the website throughout the next few weeks. The full survey findings will be available for download shortly at the Festival of Pharma as part of the CPhI Annual Report.

The virtual event will see hundreds of global companies exhibiting and thousands of attendees, with networking supported by an AI-driven Matchmaking service – which provides bespoke meeting plans, targeted specifically at the most relevant professionals and companies. Additionally, attendees can utilize the Exhibitor List tab to directly find companies and explore their offerings, capabilities, and the markets that they serve.


The virtual CPhI Festival of Pharma is scheduled October 5-9 and October 12-16. For more information about the sessions, exhibits and other programming, visit bit.ly/345ksGE.

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