Can you guess what is worth USD 1,204.80 billion? Well, it is the pharmaceutical market worldwide.
With such a stupendous market and the ever-increasing pace of technological advancements, the pharma industry has been quick to adapt to changing times. Statistics reveal that leading drug companies re-invest as much as 20.8 per cent of drug sales into new drug developments.
With quantum leaps in technology, especially in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D printed drugs, here are the top trends to look out for in the pharma industry in the coming years.
Greater adoption of artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence has become the buzzword in every industry and the pharmaceutical industry is no different. Unlike other industries, the use of AI in the pharma industry is dedicated to expanding or accelerating drug discovery and development. Some of the major areas in the pharma industry that will benefit from AI in future include clinical trials and overall improvement of medications.
Blockchain technology integration
The use of blockchain technology has already been expanded in the financial arena. Now, experts are looking for ways to use this innovation in pharmaceutical companies.
The sole purpose of blockchain technology is to simplify the way transactions occur while optimising security and transparency by eliminating the role of third parties. Pharmaceutical companies may use blockchain technology to boost their efficiency by streamlining their processes. These also include all transactions that are made at hospitals and healthcare clinics and by regulators and other stakeholders. Blockchain may also even help maximise the outcomes of research and development.
Cross-industry and enterprise collaborations
As changes in the market are pointing towards a strategic focus on deal-making and external innovation, cross-enterprise and cross-industry collaboration are becoming the new normal operating model, especially in R&D. Pharma companies should easily adapt and scale with a platform that supports modernised integrations.
Services beyond the pill
Services that go beyond the pill help boost revenue growth, especially in the wake of new products entering the market such as drug patent expirations, biosimilar and generics.
Pharmaceutical firms have now started delivering value beyond therapeutics while continuing to help patients. However, as reported by patients, only 47 per cent of the firms understood patients’ financial, emotional and other needs related to their conditions. Offering additional value-added services and support to their patients will open a world of opportunities for pharma companies if they want to change this perception.
Adoption of cloud technology
Cloud technology is not a new term. The pharma industry is now all set to incorporate this technology. It will help the industry to partner with plenty of stakeholders with a greater level of efficacy. Implementing a strong infrastructure through cloud technology can also be seen as an opportunity to improve the integrity of data.
Although the implementation of digital processes in the pharmaceutical industry is not new, it is something that is expected to pick up momentum in the coming years. Currently, there exist certain manual processes in the industry. But the only reason behind this is that these processes are chained to certain norms. Yet, sooner or later, these operations will also be transformed digitally for enhanced operational efficiency. Moreover, the benefits of digital processes outweigh the costs. Digitisation also improves transparency, thereby curbing the potential loss of data.
Use of medical marijuana
While certain doctors are not eager to jump on the medical marijuana bandwagon, others have started accepting it. It is a trend that will continue in 2021, quite like the way in which cannabidiol (CBD) is largely being accepted. Although many healthcare professionals are sceptical about it, the medicinal properties of marijuana cannot be denied. It helps in reducing pain, enhancing mood, improving digestive functions and bettering vascular health.
Precision medicine is the medicine that is manufactured and produced based on a specific patient diagnosis. The primary purpose is to make sure that the drug is tailored for maximum effectiveness and optimal outcomes. Since precision medication has shown a higher level of effectiveness than other options, it is quite obvious that it will become more prevalent in the coming years.
Production on a small scale
The greater the use of precision medicine, the smaller the required production would be. As already discussed, precision medicine will overtake conventional medication, thereby eliminating the need for mass-producing medicine. However, smaller production will be associated with certain challenges, such as difficulty in ensuring maximum profits with fast production to accommodate demands.
Increased focus on R&D value
Due to an increased focus on the value of medications, pharmaceutical firms are more concerned about ensuring research and development achieving the intended targets than ever before. In order to fulfil the needs of patients, there is an effort to achieve greater efficiency while still preserving the bottom line.
These trends are changing the pharma industry in ways that are likely to have both short-term and long-term impacts.