With the past 12 months full of business challenges and changes, pharmaceutical companies have been facing unprecedented obstacles. Outsourcing-Pharma (OSP) recently discussed the dynamic conditions of the pharma manufacturing field with Darren Wilson (DW), sales director of ReAgent, about what might lie ahead.
OSP: Could you please tell us the ‘elevator presentation’ of ReAgent?
DW: ReAgent offers a range of chemical manufacturing services to businesses in a wide variety of industries, from healthcare and automotive to energy and FMCG. Our core services include contract manufacturing, chemical blending, chemical bottling, and chemical coatings.
The chemicals we handle include hazardous, non-hazardous, corrosive, viscous, and toxic substances, and we supply chemicals in many different batch sizes. Meeting stringent quality standards is the driving force behind everything we do, and it’s something we never compromise on.
However, we believe that how we work with our customers is really what sets us apart. We're more like partners than suppliers to our customers, and work in full collaboration with them; for example, our team of chemists offer their advice and expertise when they think a formulation could be changed or improved to perform more effectively or provide additional benefits.
OSP: Please share your perspective on how the pharma contract manufacturing field has changed over the course of the past year.
DW: The main change that we have seen is an increased willingness to consider outsourcing of manufacturing. Companies have seen increased demand for products and as a result have needed to look to outsourcing to meet demand.
OSP: What have been the key market phenomena impacting the industry?
DW: Although not strictly pharmaceutical we have seen a large demand for reagents for use in COVID-19 testing kits. There does also seem to be a shift to looking for UK sources for products due to uncertainties regarding Brexit and the changes in regulatory requirements after 1st Jan 2021
OSP: It goes without saying that COVID-19 impacted nearly every industry. Can you share some perspective on how the pandemic impacted pharma contract manufacturing?
DW: From our perspective, we started working with new pharma customers who needed products more urgently than is typical. Everything sped up. We had to be agile, such as in changing the way we typically operate, purchasing new equipment, implementing new processes and training, recruiting entire teams.
OSP: If you could please gaze into your crystal ball: what do you think some of the significant challenges and opportunities might be in the coming year?
DW: The end of the pandemic coupled with Brexit - changes in legislation that we'll need to react to quickly. Flexibility will be key.