Data analytics: a path to growth and stability for pharma

How do you future-proof your company?  The best approach is to take an holistic view across the company, says Partho Bhattacharya. By creating greater access to data from all sources, you can improve R&D, reduce time to market and drive efficiency.

Pharmaceutical companies are facing a complex battle to drive operational efficiency and achieve a consolidated view of the entire business. Legacy systems and processes make this challenge even harder, slower and, in some cases, near impossible.

PWC refers to the next few years as a period of ‘vision to decision’. I believe that through focusing on laying strong technology foundations pharmaceuticals can future-proof operations, be prepared to make informed decisions, and have the capabilities to eliminate this threat.

Pharmaceutical businesses need to act now in order to attract potential investors, drive innovation and future-proof their operations. Legacy systems that hold copious amounts of disparate data need to be ‘joined up’ and overhauled. Most importantly, businesses need to make use of the data available, but why?

Inform R&D and shorten time to market

Pharmaceutical organisations are going through a period of exploration and discovery with regards to what can be done with big data. While there is a good understanding across the industry about the benefits and importance of gathering this data, there is still work to be done to ensure it is actually being utilised to better inform R&D and shorten time to market.

The first obvious step is to implement the right technologies – existing legacy systems mean the process of data consumption is simply too slow or, in some cases, not possible. For example, through some technologies it is possible to track data in real-time to inform the R&D process. Businesses can be empowered to solve questions such as: Is there demand within the market? Is the drug being created fit for purpose? How is patient care/treatment advancing in parallel with drug development? It’s at this stage that pharmaceutical organisations need to understand if the medicine is profitable and if the ability to yield is significantly higher versus the cost to produce.

Greater collaboration with healthcare organisations

There is a clear disconnect between data available in pharmaceutical and healthcare organisations. This is a significant threat to R&D. Treating data in siloes is a missed opportunity. Healthcare organisations have a wealth of data from consumers which pharmaceutical organisations simply don’t have access to. For example, understanding what side effects actually occur once a drug is available to the general population needs to feed back into the R&D process for future development.

Data analytics technologies can help provide this holistic view across the entire pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. The answer is a solution that can manage the explosion of data, make sense of the information and deliver an integrated experience.

Better integration to drive operational efficiency

Pharmaceutical organisations are complex – they often span geographies, disparate technology systems and have to account for different legal processes. This unsustainable, expensive and clunky business model poses a significant threat to future growth and success.

Coupled with M&A across the industry and wider technology innovations such as smart tech and the Internet of Things (IoT), the pressure is on businesses to make operational changes now.

A holistic view of the organisation is therefore required. Achieved through implementing the right technologies, an integrated approach across the supply chain, finance and planning, allows greater access to data from all sources, improves R&D, reduces time to market and drives overall operational efficiency.

Time from clinical trials to general availability is limited, as it’s only a matter of time before a drug is made available by another competitor. The emphasis on real-time data analysis is therefore crucial. Pharmaceutical organisations need to act now in order to leverage data to make intelligent decisions, drive operational efficiencies and future-proof.

About the author

Partho Bhattacharya has managed Invenio’s global business since 2008. He has helped the company grow from a 10-person organisation to a 420+ people industry-leading consultancy across 11 offices worldwide. His main priority is Invenio’s customers; he encourages this culture in every part of the organisation.