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With their world turned upside down by enactment of healthcare reform, senior U.S. healthcare executives are divided over whether the new environment offers growth possibilities or challenges to the survival of existing business models, a new survey by UPS shows.
Of the senior supply chain executives surveyed, a third said reform would either open up new markets or create new customers. But 20 percent doubted the ability of their companies "to afford to operate" in the coming new world; 26 percent said flatly that reform would hamper their research and development programs, and another 22 percent said they already had concluded their firms did not have the infrastructure needed to compete in the future.
Despite domestic upheaval in the wake of reform and a still-recovering economy, many healthcare companies show signs of positive change. Companies are pursuing global expansion plans to develop new market opportunities outside the United States, and supply chain investments are on the rise.
These results are drawn from the latest annual UPS "Pain in the (Supply) Chain" survey of senior-level healthcare supply chain executives. Now in its third year, the survey is conducted by Harris Interactive and is designed to identify the greatest pain points and future trends in the supply chains of companies in the pharmaceutical, medical device and supplies and biotech sectors.
Beyond the issues of healthcare reform and globalization, the 2010 survey also explored healthcare companies' top business and supply chain issues. Not surprisingly, the top business concern remains what the industry considers an escalation of complex regulations around the world. The top supply chain concern is managing costs.
"What we're seeing here is a huge dose of uncertainty about every aspect of their business, inside and outside the United States," said Bill Hook, vice president, global strategy, UPS Healthcare Logistics."Reform as well as other industry factors are placing unprecedented pressure on healthcare companies and stressing their supply chains."
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