Pharmaceutical companies have invested little effort into updating manufacturing and distribution operations, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Many companies now have inefficient and underused supply chains that are ill-equipped to cope with new medicines, cost pressures and health reform expectations according to the latest Pharma 2020 report.

The report outlined six trends that will cause pharmaceutical companies to make fundamental changes to their supply chains, including new product types, incremental product launches, greater public scrutiny and the growing importance of emerging markets in the developing world.

PricewaterhouseCoopers further predicts that the pharmaceutical supply chain will undergo three key changes over the next decade, becoming fragmented with different models for different patient segments, before becoming a means of market differentiation and source of economic value.

Finally, it will become a two-way street with an increasing amount of information transferred between the drug manufacturer and patient and healthcare provider in order to further development.