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Expected Savings From AI is Impacting Pharma 2024 Budgets: Report


A new survey of pharma executives suggests that many are fully embracing the use of AI and are making financials plans based on the technology’s usage.



Artificial intelligence (AI) is hitting pharma’s budgets, but not in the way you think.

A new survey of pharma executives looked into the ways which pharma companies are incorporating AI into their business plans.1 According to the results, a significant number of pharma leaders are already so confident in the results that technology like generative AI can achieve that they’re adjusting their budgets.

Essentially, they expect AI to save them money in certain areas and are adjusting their budgets in accordance.

The survey was conducted by Bain and Company, a global consultancy firm. In a press release, the company states that about 40% of the survey’s participants stated that they were already adjusting their budgets based on expected savings from AI. In an answer to a different question, 60% of respondents said that they were setting targets based on AI’s ability to either cut costs or boost productivity.

In a press release, Eric Berger, a partner in Bain & Company’s Healthcare & Life Sciences practice, said, “Over the next six to twelve months, leading companies will move from cultivating isolated pilots to scaling for results. As leadership teams move beyond experimentation into pilots and launches, they are thinking carefully about when and how to communicate their AI journeys to investors. Those that can signal a structured, scalable enterprise-wide program, rather than a smattering of standalone initiatives, will reap the rewards in the next phase of AI."

The results suggest that the pharma industry is moving past an exploratory phase with generative AI and are expecting to fully embrace its use in the coming year.

While AI and machine learning programs and algorithms have been around for quite some time, the technology became a hot button topic in 2023. The release of multiple AI programs, such as ChatGPT, garnered high levels of public interest based on their abilities to seemingly create new content based on unique, user-created prompts.

The technology has its critics, especially generative AI. While the technology is able to generate text, audio, visual, or other elements, it’s still just a program and isn’t actually intelligent. It doesn’t truly understand what it’s creating or, more importantly, where it’s pulling the information from. Many critics point to generative AI’s tendency to hallucinate, or more accurately, create information out of thin air. For example, users of generative AI who asked it to generate a cited essay have noticed that some, if not all, of the citations created by the program are either inaccurate or point to sources that don’t exist.

That’s not to say that the technology doesn’t have its uses, however. Many pharma companies have found uses for it connected to data management and sourcing. According to Bain & Company’s survey, 46% of respondents said they were using the technology to find potential disease targets.

Most significantly, 75% of respondents stated the use of generative AI is a top priority to the C-suite and members of the board.


  1. 40% of pharma executives are baking expected savings from Generative AI into 2024 budgets. Bain & Company. February 12, 2024. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/40-of-pharma-executives-are-baking-expected-savings-from-generative-ai-into-2024-budgets-302059600.html
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