ET Smart Pharma Summit highlights
The Economic Times (ET) hosted the ‘Smart Pharma Summit 2022’ on 28th June to discuss the future of pharma in terms of innovative R&D and technology. Given below are the key takeaways from the event:
* Pharma’s blueprint for next 25 years – moving up the value chain and improving access
* Steps to improve innovation in R&D
* Improving collaboration between academia and industry is an important step to foster R&D innovation. Countries which have succeeded in R&D have always had a strong academia-industry connect.
* Alongside PLI scheme, a research-linked incentive scheme would further encourage companies to take on more innovative R&D initiatives. o India should be part of the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH). o Entrepreneurs should be encouraged to enter the industry with access to long-term funding with minimal interest rates.
* Bring more global R&D professionals to regulatory bodies. o Creation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) involving all the stakeholders in the industry. * Need for India to become the leader in biologics research. Probability of failure in biologics discovery is much lesser than in chemistry, given the possibility of earlier error detection.
* Flexible pricing as a solution to improve medicine access in India
* Pricing policy should be looked more from the lens of access. However, the panel does not believe in fixed pricing.
* Alongside the trade generic products sold in Jan Aushadhi stores, other healthcare products should also be sold to improve retailer margins. Nearly 50% of products sold should be reserved for MSME companies.
* Enter into negotiated pricing contracts with the government and ensure designated volumes.
* Increase penetration of healthcare insurance and reduce out-of-pocket expenditure.
* Tech and Industry 4.0 in pharma – key enabler supported by AI & ML
Keeping in line with the discussion of ‘Smart Pharma’, there were discussions on the prevalent technology and Industry 4.0 trends in the industry. We have highlighted the key points and use cases:
* For effective digital transformation, companies should shift focus from patient engagement to patient centricity (involves all stakeholders).
* Counterfeit products were among the prime challenges faced by the industry. Usage of blockchain and track and trace mechanism in pharma industry could help minimize the challenge.
* Marketing analytics – Through the use of AI and data analytics, companies have been able to better equip their MRs in sales pitches to doctors. Moreover, tools like web scraping have further enhanced lead generations.
* Supply-chain management – demand forecasting and ML models help companies with their inventory management. With the advent of robotic process automation (RPA), companies have also been able to automate redundant tasks, leading to reduced manpower and increased cost savings.
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