A dose of tech: RPA in pharmaceutics
In pharmaceutics, quality and compliance are of utmost importance. After all, this industry is directly involved with public health. When COVID-19 peaked, one of the lessons the world learned the hard way is how essential timely delivery is – not just of vaccines, but also the needed drugs and medicines for other infectious diseases. Key sectors need to maximize newer and developing technologies more and more so as to not to repeat the mistakes of the past, and to strengthen handling global health emergencies.
With Robotics Process Automation (RPA) being a productivity tool, it’s versatile and scalable enough to execute processes across influential sectors – pharma included. Here are some use cases in which RPA can be beneficial in pharma.
Clinical trials management
RPA is a good augmentation for medical research, as it helps ensure that innovative treatments can reach patients in need on time. As they’re mainly backed by science, clinical trials require producing and processing loads of data, which in the long run might encounter discrepancies if manually done.
With RPA in the picture, high-volume tasks related to clinical trials that generate and utilize enormous amounts of data can be efficiently and conveniently performed by intelligent robots. This results in streamlined processes, expedited turnaround time, reduced errors, and improved accuracy. Automating clinical trials is also well encouraged by some regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Another facet crucial in a successful clinical research are patients. Over the years, matching patients to clinical trials has been a bottleneck in clinical research. Finding the best candidates for a life science study is time consuming and taxing as there are a lot of factors that need to be considered.
With newer developments in technology, different kinds of softwares are made available to make this process faster and easier. RPA, for example, can optimize the creation of patient population, and assist in database querying for patients pre-screening.
Drug sales forecasting
Predicting drug sales is more than just about the business side of pharma. Drug sales forecasts should be accurate, as these enable wise decision-making on drug development and production capacity. If there aren’t enough medicines available in case of an outbreak, public health will crumble.
In 2013, researchers from McKinsey & Co. looked at 1,700 analyst forecasts on 260 drugs released from 2002 to 2011 and found out that most of them were inaccurate. Wrong drug demand predictions are more concerning than they seem. They cause delayed drug deliveries and revenue loss.
Forecasting methods usually rely on multiple years of data – another challenge on drug sales prediction as some information is logged on analog and outdated systems. Luckily, this is one of the areas where RPA can help. Automation can aid in organizing and merging data across platforms – including older systems. RPA can also be programmed to specifically analyze pharma sales without employees manually inputting data.
Meeting compliance and regulatory requirements
Manually organizing and gathering documents and ensuring that they’re at par with regulatory standards before submitting them to regulatory departments entail a lot of preparation time and is prone to errors when performed manually. The amount of data generated by this process also compounds over time, meaning, employees are bound to spend more time doing the same process repeatedly.
In pharma, data is king. This is why consolidating documents should not just be about meeting compliance and regulatory requirements, but also keeping high-value reports safe and accessible. With RPA, pharmaceutical companies can begin creating and leveraging systems that allow faster and more reliable ways to gather and handle reports. Instead of using spreadsheets for manual data entry, robots can take over.
RPA in PH pharmaceutical industry
The Philippines is the third-largest pharmaceutical market in the ASEAN region projected to gain a steady growth of 4.5% in the following years. There remains a number of possibilities to be maximized in the local pharma landscape, and RPA could be a catalyst. Among the PH-based RPA firms that can be of help is Robotic Automation Experts (RAX).
RAX serves a number of clients across important industries which are reaping good results of embracing RPA in their operations. Talk to the RAX team today and discover how RPA can unlock the potential of your organizations and businesses.
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch