Growth and contribution to society

Key healthcare trends

Several trends continue to provide opportunities to do more for patients. The world’s population is growing and aging, and the need for medical solutions remains high, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, growing geopolitical uncertainties, the economic crisis related to COVID-19 and shrinking budgets will continue to put pressure on healthcare costs and the entire healthcare value chain.

A changing global population

The world’s population is expected to grow from 7.7 billion in 2019 to 8.5 billion in 2030.1 The population is also aging as people in all regions are living longer and having fewer children. Combined with prevailing unhealthy lifestyles that have led to a growing number of patients suffering from chronic diseases, the demand for healthcare will continue to rise. This is particularly true for developed countries but increasingly also the case in developing nations, where rapid urbanization and an expanding and affluent middle class have led to an increasing demand for better healthcare.

High income disparities

Despite declining global poverty rates, income disparities in some of the world’s most populous countries, including China, India, the US and Indonesia are still high. Wealth remains concentrated among a small percentage of the world’s population.

Key economic challenges

The global pharmaceutical market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3-6% in the coming years, with specialty care costs reaching 50% by 2023 in most developed markets.2

  • Pressures across the entire healthcare value chain on funding, budget caps and affordability have resulted in reforms in many countries, with politicians, patients and payers demanding more value from innovation, affordable medicines and new access models.
  • The advancement of biosimilars (a biological product highly similar to an approved biologic with no clinical differences), especially in the US and Europe, is changing the way medicine is practiced. Competition in biosimilars is expected to increase three-fold by 2023.2
  • Technological advances have opened the door to non-traditional players in healthcare, fueling competition and growth of new collaborations.

1 Source: UN population division, World Population Prospects 2019.
2 Source: “The Global Use of Medicine in 2019 and Outlook to 2023”, IQVIA Institute Report.

Rising transparency expectations

Transparency expectations are rising as stakeholders demand more and better information on topics such as ethics and clinical trial results, leading to new regulatory requirements and increased need for dialogue. This trend is also true for patients who ask for more accessible and better information on healthcare. Proactive, better-informed patients are enabled to make decisions about their care and take charge of their own health.

Materiality matrix of impact to help prioritize opportunities1

1 Built by integrating elements from belief audits, ESG rankings, investor priorities, employee survey, regulatory focus, peers materiality matrix.