Rx Digital Transformation: The prescription for the Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Industry

Companies driven by insights recognize that digital transformation revolves around intelligence and agility. They are dedicated to harnessing data to its full potential, making information widely accessible. The decision of whether to formulate a digital transformation (DX) strategy is no longer discretionary. The pivotal question now centers on crafting a strategy that optimally revitalizes your business.

The intersection of healthcare and technology is catalysing a profound transformation in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, and it’s no longer merely an aspirational vision but a strategic necessity. Prominent figures in the industry have recognised the pivotal role of digital transformation and are championing its adoption.

According to Gartner, 91% of businesses are engaged in some form of digital initiative, and 87% of senior business leaders say digitalization is a priority. 89% of all companies have already adopted a digital-first business strategy or are planning to do so.

Emphasising the fact that the pharmaceutical sector has been characterized by a certain conservatism, often lagging behind other industries in embracing the full potential of digital technologies. Ganesh Ramachandran, APAC CIO, Ingram Micro, in a panel discussion at Elets Digital Transformation Conclave, said “Pharma has always been at the backend of the digital transformation curve for no reason but now the biggest thing that has changed, leaving aside the pandemic, is people have realised that a lot more can be done with digital.”

Dhaval Pandya, Corporate Chief Information Officer, Piramal Enterprises Limited, acknowledged that the impact of digital transformation varies across different areas within the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. This underscores the importance of tailoring digital strategies to suit the unique needs and maturity levels of each domain. He expressed, “If we talk about digital transformation, I think there is a different maturity of technology impacting each of the areas in pharma and healthcare.”

Sunil Kumar, Senior Director & Global Head of Digital Transformation, Operations Excellence, and Culture Transformation, Cipla Limited, highlighted the fundamental role of data and technology architecture in extracting value from data analytics and said, “We need to have data and technology architecture first to drive the value from data analytics for real-time responsiveness, and technology is an enabler; it is good for nothing if you can’t drive analytics out of it.”

Narendra K Saini, Chief Digital Officer & Data Officer at Lupin Limited, commends the industry’s agile response during the COVID-19 pandemic. He mentioned, “The way that drug discovery to clinical trials, to the supply chain management, to manufacturing and then selling of drugs happened during covid was phenomenal. I don’t think at any point of time in the history of the pharma industry, it was this agile.”

Manish Kishore, Global Head of IT at Wockhardt Limited, observed a growing trend towards patient-centricity in the pharmaceutical sector and expressed, “Pharma has become more patient-centric. We are looking at different programs to reach out to and converge. I think it is the convergence of healthcare and pharma which has started coming in now. And we are moving forward towards more personalised medication for patients”

As the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry continues to grapple with ever-evolving challenges, these insights from industry leaders shed light on the significance of digital transformation. In this era of change and innovation, embracing digital technologies is no longer an option—it is the prescription for a healthier, more patient-focused, and responsive future.

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