Adaptability is a crucial factor for any company, function or individual operating within the healthcare industry, but never has it been so essential as during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within a time span of few weeks, we saw a drastic sea of change in the field of healthcare around the world and the need to adapt to a new virtual environment. The pharmaceutical industry had to rapidly respond to increasing demand and pressures on manufacturing and supply of critical medicines.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call for the Indian pharmaceutical industry due to the need to incorporate new technology to keep up with ever-changing landscapes and regulations. As supply chains throughout the world have crumbled due to dire situations caused by the pandemic, it has become prominent that vendor visibility, careful regulatory compliance, and adoption of new technology will be key necessities for future progress and stability.
As the industry has begun to adjust to the ‘new normal’ phase of working practices, it’s essential to reflect on the lessons we can take from this exceptional time and how we can use these to move forward and also to thrive.
Here are few major ways COVID-19 has transformed the whole pharmaceutical industry:
- Global supply chains have always been subject to a wide variety of obstacles. This is acutely true for pharmaceutical companies, who have always had to juggle a plethora of challenges such as shifting political landscapes and regulations within their two biggest manufacturing locations, India and China. Natural disasters are also a common factor.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has so severely affected the pharma industry that there are now huge shortages of drugs due to pharma’s dependency on brittle global supply chains.
Due to these alterations, the pharma industry will have to focus on vendor diversification and better visibility to avoid production being controlled by a single vendor. With the creation of a portal specifically for vendors, organizations can gain real-time data around shortfalls and risks as well as data tracking to satisfy the regulators.
- Pharma companies must also adapt to perpetually changing and increasing drug regulations. Pharma companies must continually adapt to changing drug regulations and due to the pandemic, there is the added pressure to succeed under severe time restrictions. Where there is money there is a chance of cutting corners, and there is a great deal of money to be made in the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine.
This level of competition for prestige and funding has always trust pharmaceutical companies in the legal spotlight. While this type of check and balance is necessary to a safe and functioning healthcare system, pharma companies must pay even more attention to their security and compliance to decrease as much risk as possible.
A reliable, automated contract process curtails the company’s expenses that come with manual auditing and saves you from the sanctions that result from errors. By creating a system to easily monitor contracts, you can quickly identify and track contracts that involve intellectual property, royalties, or other company information to help you make informed decisions. Creating notifications tailored to different types of contracts also allows users to know exactly what is coming up short, by how much, and whether a breach of contract has happened.
- In an article for Contract Pharma on supply chain trends, Rich Quelch of Origin Pharma Packaging, said “All in all, the promise of [artificial intelligence] in pharma supply chain management is clear […] Pharma companies that embrace hybrid supply chains and smart data management can expect significant payback in speed, cost-efficiency, and risk mitigation. Those that stick with the status quo may find themselves quickly at a dead end.”
Due to the bulk of data and contracts that pharma companies use on a daily basis, they are well suited to take on the challenges of AI. As with any AI solution, a huge amount of upfront work is needed for it to be effective, but the payoff could save an unexpected amount of time and money.
Pharma companies can also innovate by relying more on automation. A contract management system can enhance productivity by automatically informing employees when they need to take action like make a payment or review contract terms. A holistic contract solution can also automatically send copies of invoices to an accounting department or inform procurement departments that contracts for purchases are in place, which eliminates communication breakdowns between departments.
The pharmaceutical industry has been faced with a series of unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic and has worked effortlessly to solve them. These challenges signify that the industry is ripe for innovation. The global consequences of the pandemic have been intense, but so have the advancements made to treat and fight COVID-19. As the pharma industry strives to create its new normal, it will need to access the industry’s shortcomings and embrace new technology that can help them flourish. The Indian pharma industry is an asset and is enlisted with the purpose of being a consistent and reliable supplier of life-saving drugs to India and the world. Truly, India will continue to be at the forefront in terms of service to the nation and the world.