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What to expect in Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences sectors? Results from the 21st PwC CEO Survey


Andrea Fortuna
PwC, Milan, Italy


According to Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences (P&LS) Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) there are reasons to be optimistic about the future. Despite concerning threats such as geopolitical uncertainty and over-regulation, speed of technological changes, difficulties in attracting talents and challenge of building trust with stakeholders, P&LS CEOs are optimistic on economic growth and confident about prospects for revenue increase. This is what emerged in the 21st CEOs Survey (1), a study conducted annually by PwC (one of the largest global professional services networks) that has involved, this year, nearly 1,300 CEOs working in all business sectors from over 85 countries. Among them, 70 CEOs belong to the P&LS sector.


The 21st PwC CEO Survey has shown the highest-ever increase to the highest-ever level of CEOs optimism regarding global growth prospects. In particular, 51% of P&LS CEOs (vs 57% of all CEOs) believe that global economic growth will improve, whereas 39% believe it will stay the same (vs 36% of all CEOs) (Figure 1).

But why are CEOs so optimistic? We need to look to economic indicators. Most of the world’s major economies are experiencing growth in contrast to the situation of just a few years ago. In 2015, southern countries in the Eurozone were on the brink of default, Russia and Brazil were in recessions and China’s surging growth had taken a hit. Now, the Eurozone is on a steady recovery, Russia and Brazil have returned to modest growth, China is doing well. As for the United States, the economy is growing at 3% and the corporate tax cuts has helped accelerate one of the longest stock market booms in history, while driving corporate confidence to new highs and jobless rates to new lows. It is very interesting to notice that, when it comes to define th ...

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