Digital Pharma: Are We Nearly There?
- Digital’s potential to transform every aspect of the pharmaceutical value chain, from discovery to commercial, is widely documented. This analysis explores how far along pharma is in its shift to digital, and where digital is having the greatest impact – both on patients and the bottom line.
- As technology firms wade into healthcare, and as regulators begin to approve “digital therapeutics,” there is an urgency behind pharma’s digital transformation. Pharmaceutical firms are engaging in different ways, and at different speeds. They are bringing in new skills, new systems, and new structures in order to capture the benefits of digital.
- Many of these benefits are around process efficiency and research and development (R&D) productivity – and clinical development in particular. That is where most money and time are spent in the traditional R&D process, and thus where improvements are most visible.
- Consumer-facing digital healthcare products, though much talked-about, are not currently influencing pharma’s bottom line. Instead, they are changing the way healthcare is delivered. These changes will influence pharma’s role within the healthcare system and its relationship with customers.
- Culture is one of the biggest challenges that pharma companies face as they go digital. Digital must become a core capability, not a standalone function. Yet it comes with faster innovation cycles, plus new kinds of expertise and partnerships that threaten traditional hierarchies and demand a fresh mindset.
Table of Contents
6 THE DIGITAL IMPERATIVE
6 How is pharma “going digital”?
12 DIGITAL’S IMPACT ALONG THE VALUE CHAIN
12 Digital is impacting everything, especially clinical development
20 Verily’s Baseline: setting the digital health reference data
21 Regulators talk digital
26 DIGITAL PARTNERSHIPS
26 A partnering chess game
26 Partnerships are changing the pharma R&D model
32 LESSONS LEARNED
32 Digital is transformational
32 Digital is not a department, it is a core capability
33 Culture is the hardest part
33 Talent integration must be thoughtful
34 Financial returns are indirect
34 Staying analog is not an option
37 About the author
LIST OF FIGURES
13 Figure 1: The degree of digital impact at different stages of the pharma value chain
26 Figure 2: Digital-Pharma deals: tie-ups between Big/mid-sized pharma and digital health firms
LIST OF TABLES
7 Table 1: Selected pharma approaches to “going digital”
15 Table 2: Selected pharma-AI discovery deals
28 Table 3: Selected digital collaborations across a range of areas and partner types
32 Table 4: Lessons from pharma’s digital journey to date
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