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What drives Mergers & Acquisition in the pharma industry?


Christoph Bieri
Managing PartnerKurmann Partners AG

The pharmaceutical industry probably sees more M&A activity than other industries, both in the number of deals and the amount of money spent on acquisitions and mergers. No other industry can compare when it comes to M&As: large, game-changing deals continuously and profoundly change the competitive landscape, while smaller yet still significant  transactions are an integral part of operations of pharma companies. 

So, why is M&A so important for the industry?

Below we describe key drivers that force pharma companies to redefine themselves, and why large M&A is the preferred way to do so. The article then continues by describing why M&A is a standard component of the pharma business model. Finally, we conclude by showing M&A transaction patterns in strategic business areas as we observe it, which corroborates our concepts and hypotheses.


The single most important driver for changes in the pharma industry is the ever-increasing cost of drug development: most companies can no longer afford to carry out R&D to find innovative compounds. 

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