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How Digital Transformation Is Reshaping the Pharma Industry

All businesses in this technological era, including those previously slower to do so, have moved quickly toward digital as a result of the pandemic. The pharmaceutical industry has not been exempt from this phenomenon. The question now is whether the extraordinary impact of COVID-19 and the growing prominence of digital innovation will continue to alter pharma operations profoundly.

The response is yes: since the pandemic began, there has been a global rise of 27.8% in traffic to health and medicine websites. An increasing proportion of patients actively search for health and medical information online.

Technology has facilitated access to health information, changing how people learn about medications and other personal health issues.  It has changed how they interact with their doctors to achieve personal goals. Patients now have more access than ever to pharmaceutical companies and healthcare information. Let’s examine some recent and projected industry figures for the worldwide pharmaceutical sector.

Global Pharmaceutical Industry – Statistics (US$)

This graph, including prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, illustrates the global pharmaceutical income from 2012 to 2026 (2023 to 2026 projected), broken down by technology. Additionally, medical income from biotechnology in 2019 was $266 billion, compared to S469 billion from conventional pharmaceuticals and $175 billion from unclassified technologies.

Biotechnology allows pharmaceutical products to be produced using living organisms and systems. For example, artificial human insulin is often used to treat diabetes.

The pharmaceuticals market comprises businesses that develop and sell drugs and associated services. According to research presented on Global News Wire, the market is anticipated to reach $1700.97 billion in 2025 at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 8%.

Implementing Digital Transformation in the Pharmaceutical Industry

If the digital revolution is successful, it will significantly alter how pharmaceutical companies operate. The ability of businesses to adapt to digital marketing will determine whether future domestic sales growth will improve.

1.   Create, Distribute, And Connect with Potential Clients

Pharmaceutical companies may be in the most regulated global industry worldwide due to the complexity of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) requirements and various other regulatory restrictions regarding advertising and marketing. A strong digital strategy must be implemented to carry out successfully a company’s corporate marketing plan.

2.   Utilize Cloud Technology

Anyone using the internet at home or work has at least heard of cloud computing.  According to the comprehensive website Simplilearn, “Cloud computing is the process of delivering on-demand IT services, including analytics, databases, networking, servers, and storage via the internet.” The pharmaceutical industry is implementing advances in technology, and it must accelerate plans to adopt cloud systems. Thanks to cloud technologies, pharmaceutical companies will be able to work with various stakeholders more successfully. Increasing data integrity is a benefit of using cloud technologies.

3.   Speed up the Adoption of Digital Methods

The pharmaceutical industry must speed up its drive to implement digital technologies. Many manual (analog) methods are still in use today due to legacy inertia. But now, many paper-based processes have been replaced with digital ones, which has increased operational effectiveness and made it simpler to adhere to SOPs. This shift must increase. Furthermore, digital processes will promote legal compliance.

Worth reading: How key digital technologies and their use cases can help solve the Counterfeit Drug Problem to achieve Pharma 4.0.

Production processes and supply chain elements embedded in an Internet of Things (IoT) production process can address the counterfeit drugs problem effectively. These “continuous manufacturing” medication production facilities are entirely new and integrated.

In contrast to stepwise production, fully integrated manufacturing is referred to as continuous manufacturing in the pharmaceutical industry and other sectors. Integrating a process adds benefits where quality assurance expenditures are significant. Safety systems try to stop toxins from escaping buildings. When a situation gets serious, a plant is shut down gradually to minimize safety risks and potential damage to the facility.

List Of Technologies That Enable Digital Transformation in The Pharma Industry

1.   Automation

With automation, the pharmaceutical supply chain is being digitally transformed. According to reports, automation has helped the healthcare sector cut annual administrative transaction costs by $122 billion.

  • Automation in Drug Manufacturing
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

2.   Blockchain

Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry by increasing transparency. Lack of communication among medical specialists may cost the sector $11 billion annually. Blockchain-based ledger technology can help reduce misunderstandings and safely transfer patient medical information.

3.   ML (Machine Learning) and AI (Artificial Intelligence)

By 2025, it is anticipated that the market for AI technology will grow by over $100 billion. AI innovation in the pharmaceutical industry has significantly increased over the last few years.


The distinction between the real and virtual worlds is becoming hazier than ever. Given the direction the internet and technology are headed, this trend will continue.

Switching to digital procedures may offer a variety of advantages, such as streamlined and speedier operations, more straightforward client communications, and more cohesive projects amongst different personnel.

Digital transformation is a cultural transition that necessitates ongoing trial and error and landscape adaptation for companies. It is not a “one-and-done” change.

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