Tech Trends to Watch in the Pharmaceutical Industry


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The pharmaceutical industry, as well as the healthcare industry, is experiencing a huge digital transformation lately. With advancements in technology, pharmaceutical companies are also gearing up and equipping themselves to bring digital transformations to their existing processes. Developments in artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, big data analytics, and data science have completely changed the way the pharmaceutical industry operates.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the pharmaceutical industries have experienced a huge deficit in meeting people’s demands. Below are the top five areas where digital redesigns and AI advancements have been seen in the pharmaceutical industries in recent times:

  • Due to changing market trends, pharmaceutical companies are seeking to optimize manufacturing processes to achieve production control using the Internet of Things (IoT) which offers more connectivity, reliability and visibility into the process. Software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based technology companies, in which data is centrally managed to help pharmaceutical companies achieve operational excellence by reducing delays in the product lifecycle, increase speed at which the product can reach the market.
  • Technological innovations in the pharmaceutical industry have also improved internal collaborations to ensure traceability of product movement throughout the value chain, contributing to better inventory control and minimized costs.
  • Increased supply chain transparency has also resulted in commercial excellence in terms of connecting with last mile partners. This helps pharma companies balance spending and reduce returns across various channels.
  • AI-based analytics embed data in context that helps pharmaceutical companies control, monitor and evaluate all activities ensuring integrity, as well as operational efficiency.
  • New track and trace solutions are being adopted by pharmaceutical companies to combat counterfeit medicines that end up in the public and pose potential risks. In order to minimize these risks and improve the safety of these medicines, a centralized monitoring system is in place. The pandemic has seen an increase in substandard drugs on the market due to unavailability of stocks and lack of a tool for the public to verify the product authentication of these drugs.

Globally, India ranks third in pharmaceutical production and is growing rapidly. India’s pharmaceutical industry is growing at 17.7% annually, up from 13.7% in 2019-2020 and is expected to grow threefold over the next decade. India also accounts for 12and leading exporter of medical products. To combat the entrenchment of counterfeit drugs in the market, governments around the world are recommending the adoption of an automated tracking system by pharmaceutical companies.

A strong tracking system throughout the supply chain system not only enables pharmaceutical companies to control the threat of counterfeit drugs in the markets, but also to address various other issues, including:

  • faster and better resolutions to cross-company problems
  • minimized waste and increased efficiency
  • facilitate inventory management, warehouse flow and stock rotation
  • reduced costs through minimal inventory theft
  • improvement of delivery times with better control of order deadlines
  • strong traceable data coupled with analytics helping forecast demand, predict shortages and secure supply during the crisis

Digital enterprises with cloud-based solutions provide pharmaceutical companies with advantages and capabilities to achieve excellence through operational efficiency and automated workflows. The IoT is creating an innovative and disruptive pharmaceutical industry by reducing complexities and inefficiencies with real-time information for manufacturers at every stage of the enhanced value chain system.

By using SaaS and advanced technologies such as AI, ML, and IoT, pharmaceutical industries can move away from traditional supply chain practices and gain a competitive advantage by further evolving with technological transformations.

About Margie Peters

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