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Beyond vaccines

Harriet Clarfelt considers the outlook for pharmaceutical companies in light of pipeline, regulatory and political pressures
Beyond vaccines
  • Pharmaceutical companies’ value to society has rarely looked so bright
  • For investors, valuing drugmakers is a more slippery task

Eighteen months ago, perceptions of big pharma were very different from today. This was a sector more often hit with allegations of predatory drug pricing than praised for its therapeutic discoveries. A sector directly implicated in America’s opioid addiction crisis. A sector earmarked for reform by US presidential candidates as they prepared for the November election, having topped the political agenda for decades.

But then Covid-19 arrived. And with it, everything changed. As the pandemic wreaked havoc in country after country, the world’s largest pharmaceutical and biotech companies launched into action – repurposing existing therapies, accelerating the development of new treatments and, above all, striving to find a vaccine that could halt the proliferating disaster.

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