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It Starts with a Scribble


Pharmaceutical Executive

Pharmaceutical ExecutivePharmaceutical Executive-10-01-2019
Volume 39
Issue 10

Our quest to make sense of a complex future data ecosystem in pharma.

Coming into this issue, which we dubbed “Tech Tour for the C-Suite,” editors envisioned creating a

Lisa Henderson

 technology map, making it visually easy to see the technologies and solutions and how they impacted each functional area of a pharmaceutical company. With the experts we gathered, it soon became clear we would need to create a 3D image, and maybe a hologram, to make sense of all the technologies and how each spans across the ecosystem. Below is a rendering of my original simplistic starter map, if anyone is curious how sophisticated my thinking is.

The editors settled on approaching The Tour from the data standpoint-and what C-suite executives need to do now to support the future of data-driven technology. Our topics include:

Those are the four buckets we chose to focus on. The observation is, much like scientific advances, there is no such thing as an overnight success. Pharma has been and continues to try new technologies, invest in software and process change, collaborate on pilots, and hire third-party providers, all with the intention of moving forward. There are many who spend a lot of time, and money, telling pharma how they are missing the boat. But they aren’t. It’s just another step in the learning curve.

What our panel did agree on was that there is no one best practice or one best technology for pharma to invest in. But the key is that you do invest, and not wait. Our experts agreed that waiting will only get you further behind on the data tsunami-leading to you operating in an unworkable environment, and in a more untenable situation to address change management in regards to operating models, roles, and training.

Last month, Veeva Systems welcomed Joe Jimenez, former CEO of Novartis, and Paul Sekhri, CEO of eGenesis, as keynote speakers  at its R&D Summit in Philadelphia. Jimenez and Sekhri discussed scientific advances and investment in biotech by large pharma, which we will discuss more in next month’s Annual

Pipeline Report issue. But they also talked about technology and how those advances, and the intersection of data and science, are the future of pharma.

Jimenez said, “I really believe that advanced analytics and new technologies are going to revolutionize all elements of pharmaceuticals, starting with research, drug development, and commercialization. I believe that the next 10 years [will] see radical changes in the way that each of those three pillars are executed. And it’s all going to be driven by data and science.”

Jimenez also echoed our experts, stressing: “Whether if you work in the research side, in clinical development, safety, regulatory, or on the commercial side of the business, look for ways to radically change the status quo of healthcare today. And use data, use advanced analytics, use data science, because this is going to be the key. The early adopters of something that is going to help you radically improve the efficiency or the effectiveness of your world, what you do-the early adopters are going to be the ones who win.”


Lisa Henderson is Editor-in-Chief of Pharm Exec. She can be reached at lhenderson@mmhgroup.com. Follow Lisa on Twitter: @trialsonline

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