What Pharma Wants From IT Today - Pharmaceutical Executive

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What Pharma Wants From IT Today
The 2005 Pharmaceutical Executive/Life Science Insights Information Technology Survey


Pharmaceutical Executive


According to a separate study performed by Life Science Insights in December 2004, investment in biomarkers has increased 200 percent over the past several years as the industry devotes resources to new technology and research. Investment in molecular biomarkers will be results-driven and will continue to double in the next two to three years based on industry trends, technology innovations, implementation of past investments, and need. The FDA, as part of its Critical Path Initiative, wants the area of biomarkers to move forward at a faster pace.


2005 Pharmaceutical Executive/Life Science Insights Information Technology Survey
Clinical development More than 57 percent of clinical trials respondents selected clinical trials management solutions (CTMS) as the most important technology initiative for their functional area. Electronic data capture (EDC) was noted as the second most important initiative, garnering 25 percent, with recruitment solutions, clinical trial supply management, and pharmacovigilance chosen as lower priorities. Other investments in clinical development noted by respondents include content management and data management.

We expect the market for CTMS to increase at a 13-percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), from 2004 to 2008, as current users of multiple CTMS and homegrown systems upgrade to CTMS from vendors like Medidata, Nextrials, Phase Forward and Oracle Clinical. A key driver of investment in CTMS and EDC is the optimization of clinical trial processes. In recent years, vendor offerings have matured to supply useful suites of functionality that meet the needs of clinical development teams, and are configurable enough to support the variety of business models employed by sponsors for managing clinical trials. Further, FDA regulations establishing electronic standards for clinical data, and submission formats for electronic drug applications, will drive funding for investment in CTMS and EDC.

Manufacturing/supply chain Supply chain management is the top priority, according to 53 percent of respondents in this functional area. This compares with 34 percent who cite process analytical technology (PAT) and 11 percent who cite radio frequency identification (RFID) as their top technology initiative. RFID is currently receiving attention because of commercial mandates (e.g., Wal-Mart, etc.), government initiatives (e.g., DoD, FDA, etc.), and technical advances. The pharmaceutical market represents a strong early-adoption marketplace for RFID-based solutions because these applications can assist with drug recalls, provide support for compliance with new manufacturing regulations, improve cold chain management, and enable more efficient clinical supplies management. While pilot projects around RFID are appearing at some major pharma companies, such as Abbott Laboratories, Barr Pharmaceuticals, and Johnson & Johnson, the horizon for significant adoption still lies several years out. Uptake remains limited due to remaining concerns about accuracy, reliability, and ROI.

Sales On average, half of those surveyed in the sales function said customer relationship management (CRM) was their top technology initiative. Mobile sales solutions and sales force automation were evenly split as top priorities. Business intelligence solutions also were noted as a priority.

CRM applications automate customer-facing processes within an organization: sales, marketing, customer support, and contact centers. Collectively, these applications serve to manage the entire lifecycle of a customer—including the conversion of a prospect into a customer—and help an organization build and maintain successful relationships. Increased competition in the pharmaceutical market and the need to retain existing customers have spurred many biopharmaceutical companies to adopt CRM. Data analytics capabilities derived from CRM applications are invaluable for pharmaceutical sales teams, enabling an understanding of all the activity that goes into securing a customer, as well as providing the ability to evaluate and respond quickly to changes.

Similarly, pharmaceutical sales teams are investing in mobile sales solutions and sales force automation tools to improve their speed and gain competitive advantage. The expansion of mobile infrastructures is improving and the appropriateness of the technology is slowly being demonstrated for sales teams. In general, mobile devices are becoming more popular than ever with sales teams, giving them flexibility in their choice of working environments and allowing them to use time more efficiently, increase productivity, and provide better customer service. However, lack of technology standards and concerns about security of data transmissions continue to be barriers to mobile sales solutions.


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