Healthcare professions overall will have strong employment growth in the coming years, with about 1.9 million new jobs being added by 2028. The Department of Labor predicts 14 percent job growth for healthcare occupations by 2028, which is faster than the average. More people are living longer and with a growing population of older people, there is increased demand for healthcare services and pharmaceuticals. The aging population will be in need of prescription medications and medical tests and treatments for diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and other medical conditions.
Management analysts, which includes healthcare and pharmaceuticals consultants, will have excellent job opportunities in the years to come. According to the Department of Labor, management analysts are projected to have 14 percent employment growth, much faster than the average for all occupations, through 2028. Markets continue to become more competitive, which is increasing companies’ needs to use business resources as efficiently as possible. Employment growth will be especially strong for healthcare consultants. As the DOL describes it, “this industry segment is experiencing higher costs in part because of its aging population. In addition, more analysts may be needed to help navigate the regulatory environment within health insurance.” There will be strong competition for healthcare and pharmaceuticals consulting jobs. Opportunities will be best for those with an advanced degree, certification, and specialized experience. An added plus is fluency in a foreign language.
According to a Market Watch report, healthcare consulting will continue to be in high demand around the world. “The ability of healthcare consulting to enhance the overall business operations of the companies operating in the healthcare industry will aid the growth of the global healthcare consulting market in the coming years. Healthcare consulting enables companies to stay in sync with the latest industry trends.” The Market Watch report also points out that there will be ongoing demand for business models that operate efficiently, and the healthcare consulting market will “benefit from the growing incorporation of technologies such as the cloud and the Internet of Things.” (The Internet of Things is the interconnection of computing devices that enables sending and receiving data. In healthcare, wearable medical devices with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, that allow for remote patient monitoring and treatment progress observation, are one example of the Internet of Things.)
The key players in the healthcare consulting industry are McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, IQVIA, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, Huron Consulting Group Inc., GE Healthcare Partners, and Navigant Consulting Inc., to name only a few. An Absolute Markets Insight study on the healthcare consulting market predicts that hospitals will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11 percent through 2027, continuing to account for a major market share in the healthcare consulting business. “Digital transformation, value-based payments, need for improved patient care, and cost reduction are the major factors behind the growth of the global healthcare consulting services market.”
An IQVIA report, called The Global Use of Medicine in 2019 and the Outlook to 2023, cites the following as the top trends that will have an impact on the healthcare and pharmaceuticals consulting industry: patient engagement, digital therapeutics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, real-world evidence, emerging biopharma companies, pricing reforms, prescription opioids, margin pressures, neglected tropical diseases, and advanced therapies. Of particular note, through 2023, “life sciences companies will continue to develop and invest in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning programs, leading to breakthroughs impacting the discovery and development of medicines.” There will also be a growing number of biopharma companies that will launch new medicines, “due to shifts in strategy as well as the rising absolute number of active R&D compounds. More than one-third of drugs launched [through 2023] will be brought to market by EBP companies.”
Biopharmaceutical companies will also continue to face challenges such as with payer actions on prices looming, which is causing margin pressures. Biopharma companies will be in need of consultants to help improve cost management and increase revenues. They will be investing more in technology, such as cloud-computing, artificial intelligence, and machine-learning, to improve productivity.
Prescription opioids will also continue to be of particular concern in the healthcare and pharmaceuticals field. As described by IQVIA, “existing policies and new legislation will likely impact opioid prescribing and use through 2023, and the dynamics around prescription opioids, and issues around illicit drug use and overdoses, will remain complex and challenging to address. A range of likely scenarios around opioid prescribing trends include a continuation of the ongoing rapid declines in use, or a pattern of convergence at the levels of current lower-use states.”
IQVIA reported that global spending on medicines had reached $1.2 trillion in 2018 and was on track to exceed $1.5 trillion by 2023. The United States is a key driver in this growth and is expected to continue being a key driver in the coming years, with overall spending growth attributed to factors such as the uptake of new products and brand pricing. However, patent expirations (the “patent cliff”) and the growth of generic pharmaceuticals will offset some of this growth.
Much of the work done by consultants can be done online and through teleconferencing, which enabled many consultants in this field to continue working through the coronavirus pandemic that began in 2020. Health care and pharmaceutical consultants found themselves especially concerned with efforts to respond to the pandemic, help medical facilities find ways to manage surges in patients, and help pharmaceuticals companies manage research into vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.
The health care and pharmaceuticals consulting industry is expected to have continued growth in the coming years, with the rollout of the vaccine for COVID-19 in early 2021 and the eventual containment of the pandemic. As of February 2021, the health care consultants industry was valued at $7.5 billion, with market size growth of 6.3 percent projected for 2021. From 2016 through 2021, annualized market size growth of 3.3 percent was expected, according to the research group IBISWorld. Compared with other industries in the U.S., the market size of the health care consultants industry has grown faster than the economy overall. The pharmaceutical contract management consulting industry in the U.S., which consists of about 8,082 consulting businesses, was projected to grow by nearly 3 percent in 2021. The states with the highest number of theses businesses in 2021 are California (19,669 businesses), Florida (15,802), and Texas (10,919). McKinsey and Company predicts that, post pandemic, high-growth segments in the health care industry will include virtual care, home health, health care software and platforms, and specialty pharmacy, with 10 percent growth projected through 2025.