The pharma industry is showing a significant revamp in 2022. The industry is traditionally slow at adopting technology owing to regulatory reasons of health and safety but is now undergoing massive changes due to the advancement in several technologies. The pharma industry is adopting digitised supply chain management solutions driven by critical factors increasing the value and complexity of the supply chain ecosystem. For instance, the rise of novel techniques for vaccines and biologics requires specific materials and temperature conditions for proper packing and transport and visibility and transparency is needed at all times.
How do Shifts in Supply and Demand Impact the Pharmaceutical Industry?
The pharmaceutical industry faces several issues and challenges regarding agility and automation in their process with no room for mistakes. In this digital era, pharma companies are focusing on finding alternative ways to secure transparency, responsiveness, and visibility to stay competitive.
The pharma manufacturing global market has reached $405.52bn by 2020 and is expected to grow higher. According to Deloitte’s report, pharmaceutical companies are interested in evolving customers’ attitudes to bring significant transformation. 70% of surveyed pharma clients wished that the drug development process should be the most influenced by intelligent technologies in 2022 like natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
Let's look at the top 5 pharma supply chain trends that will ultimately be of greater interest in the future.
1. Packaging Automation
Smart manufacturing is the automation of the whole packaging process. The machines should be intelligent enough to deliver real-time diagnostic and monitoring information with simple integration and quick data processing. Smart manufacturing depends on enterprise size for adapting several solutions, including cloud-based systems, AI, ML, big data architectures and robotics.
Improving the packaging process will potentially reduce product labeling errors and ultimately reduce consumer risks. Plus, automation in the pharmaceutical process is cost-effective and saves both money and time, prevents threats and boosts productivity with operational flexibility.
2. Increased Reliance on Artificial Intelligence
Warehouses are implementing innovative technology solutions faster than ever in the post pandemic world that demands speed and accuracy. Increased use of AI and automation is not just about efficiency and precision but also the workforce. Many pharmaceutical companies face a labor shortage and it is the best opportunity to shift workload to automation which minimises the dependency on the human workforce. The last few years after the pandemic have highlighted the importance of technology in supply chain processes.
3. Blockchain Tackles Counterfeit Medicine
Blockchain technology is a significant consideration for the pharma industry at every step from production to distribution of drugs. Blockchain technology has the capability to detect counterfeit and low-standard medicines that enter the pharmaceutical supply chain and causing harm to many patients every year. Its efficiency in digitising transactions makes it extremely efficient for securely tracking the pharmaceutical transaction process.
4. End-to-End Data Traceability
The pharmaceutical industry’s thirst for data is nothing new, but organisations have leveraged artificial intelligence and big data to improve the speed and efficiency demanded by the pandemic in the last few years. Data enables experts to make better decisions to deliver medicines to the patient on time. Hospital data about the frequency of doctors' specific medicine recommendations also enables pharmacists to build better forecasting models according to the consumer response.
It might be based on changing or updating the medicine formula rather than historical data. Data scientists add value along the way to help pharmaceutical manufacturers extract meaningful insights from data to save costs, improve forecasts and prioritise patient health.
5. Resilience in Supply Chain
A resilient supply chain comes with bearing resistance capacity and recovery. Many pharma industries are at a standstill attempting to discover methods to collaborate with suppliers to boost their organisation's productivity due to the dependency on poor continuity planning and single-source suppliers. It is necessary to overcome supply chain bottlenecks to continue supporting patients. Initiatives like HIRC (Healthcare Industry Resilience Collaborative) go a long way by offering critical performance indicators on improving resiliency for manufacturers.
Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Market Size from Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Market Size Report, 2021-2028 (grandviewresearch.com)
Pharmaceutical Industry Trends from Pharmaceutical industry trends | Deloitte Insights
How Technology Could Transform Drug Research in 2022 from How technology could transform drug research in 2022 - Pharmaceutical Technology