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Ashfield Answers

Strategic counsel for a global healthcare sector in an ever-present state of flux

Changing the paradigm of pharmaceutical outsourcing

Progressive life sciences companies now focus on their core competencies

The pharmaceutical business model is changing radically. As the pressure on global healthcare budgets increases, pharmaceutical organisations are being forced to review their operational strategies in search of efficiency and profitability.

The days when pharma companies managed everything from R&D to commercialisation in-house, are over. After years of conducting a big orchestra, the industry is retuning the sections and, in some places, breaking up the band. A new era of ensemble working is emerging – and the leading players – charged with ensuring that performance remains in tune with customer needs – are outsourced partners.

Today's life science companies are lean, agile, specialist and, crucially, collaborative. The most progressive are now focusing on their core competencies – the discovery and development of innovative medicines – and are outsourcing other key components of the brand life cycle to specialist partners.

Over the past 16 years, Ashfield has responded to the shifting sands of the pharmaceutical industry, and developed a comprehensive service portfolio that belies its origins as a small, traditional contract sales organisation (CSO). The business has subsequently grown beyond recognition.

This Spring, the whole of the Ashfield business unites under the divisional brand of Ashfield Commercial & Medical Services. The development brings our organisation together and, at a time when the industry is looking for trusted strategic partners to unlock growth, will help us collaborate both locally and internationally to provide compelling integrated solutions for our clients.

Our market-leading portfolio offers world-class services and expertise across a diverse range of disciplines; medical communications, marketing consultancy, market research, market access, business intelligence, clinical nurse educators, medical information, pharmacovigilance, meetings and event  management, training and, of course, sales teams.

With operations in the UK, Europe, US, Canada, Japan, and South America, and ambitions for future growth into Australia, Africa and the emerging markets, Ashfield Commercial & Medical Services offers the powerful combination of a full-service integrated portfolio and a truly international market presence.

It's a new breed of CSO – one where sales expands to services and solutions, one which is designed to help pharmaceutical and healthcare companies develop ingenious solutions to improve patient access to medical innovations.

And it's changing the paradigm of pharmaceutical outsourcing.


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Article by
Chris Corbin

CEO and Managing Director, Ashfield Commercial & Medical Services and Executive Director, UDG Healthcare.

3rd February 2014

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