As the country moves into the next phases of the fight against COVID-19, the push for a vaccine continues to intensify. For life sciences companies, this also means a continued demand for more testing kits; peripherals like wipes, gloves, swabs, and sterilisation equipment; and of course for personal protective equipment (PPE).
For some businesses, this could lead to new opportunities - those with outsourced manufacturing capability, businesses that are already registered providers for the NHS, and labs with clinical trial capability will all likely have an advantage as new vaccines and treatment drugs are created. With this said, many labs are still currently closed due to their inability to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
The return to work process, for many businesses, means being forced to refine ‘normal’ operations. For many companies there will be no return to former practices, with strengthened health and safety practices, increased opportunity for flexible working, changed operating models. Life sciences companies are not exempt from these changes, and many employees will be returning to a very different environment from the one they left.
Post-pandemic considerations for life sciences companies
Mergers and acquisitions
Having increased activity at a time of national and global restrictions could lead to some companies exploring pooling their resources. There may be a number of mergers and acquisitions, as well as joint ventures, over the coming months.
Intellectual property (IP) will have a renewed importance, with many companies now researching in similar fields. This may increase the chances of accidentally breaching existing IP – or of having your own IP breached. Consider checking if you have insurance protection in respect of breaches of IP rights, and improving your cyber security to counter malicious hacks. Find out more about how to improve your cyber security.
Your liability as an employer
It’s more important than ever to keep up to date on any additional regulations that apply to your business operations. Some of these are well known – such as the importance of complying with social distancing. Other are industry-specific, and are updated regularly with new guidance.
As an employer, you have a duty of care to your employees. Covid-19 adds a new layer to this, new risk assessments, new training. If you’re unsure of what precautions you can take, visit our ‘return to work’ hub here, where you can download guidance and checklists to help support you.
It is also highly advisable to speak with your insurer or insurance advisor, to confirm if there are any additional steps you must take to keep your insurance cover working for you.
All businesses will have to operate differently as the country moves forward, but for life sciences companies already in a highly regulated space, working within guidelines and restrictions is the norm. Getting new products to market may be more challenging, particularly for sales teams who interact directly with NHS trusts. For businesses who remain flexible, up to date, and open-minded, it will be easier to adapt to this new way of working, and creating your new normal.
Read our in-depth report for more information on being prepared for the post-pandemic world.