Breaking barriers: Navigating the complexities of the pharma industry | HCLTech

Breaking barriers: Navigating the complexities of the pharma industry

The pharmaceutical industry contends with complexities across all domains, from the lab to the market
5 minutes read
Anil Joshi
Anil Joshi
VP and Europe & UK Head, LSH
5 minutes read
Breaking barriers: Navigating the complexities of the pharma industry

In the rapidly evolving landscape of pharmaceuticals, the industry grapples with multifaceted challenges that demand strategic foresight and innovative solutions. From the intricate processes within the laboratory to navigating the complexities of bringing a product to market, the pharma sector faces a myriad of challenges at every stage of its life cycle. Let's delve deeper into these aspects to gain a better understanding of the challenges at hand.

Developing a new drug is a lengthy and costly process spanning 10-15 years with an expenditure ranging from $2-3 billion. The pharmaceutical sector and researchers are consistently striving to streamline this process by reducing both the time and cost, all while upholding rigorous research standards. In the realm of pharmaceutical R&D, various software, databases and reporting systems are employed; integrating these systems and efficiently managing, analyzing and deriving meaningful insights from the high volumes of data these systems generate pose a substantial challenge.

The industry is progressing on multiple fronts, such as precision medicines where companies are investing in pharmacogenomics, biomarker identification and advanced diagnosis, to craft personalized treatments for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Additionally, advancements in immunotherapy like CAR-T cell therapy, biotechnology such as CRISPR-Cas9 and gene therapy are gaining traction. However, life sciences companies grapple with substantial regulatory hurdles and other complexities associated with these innovative approaches to clinical trials and drug development. As innovations emerge in the R&D phase their journey transcends into the intricate landscape of clinical trials.

Transitioning seamlessly from R&D breakthroughs to clinical implementation, the challenges faced in this pivotal stage play a crucial role in shaping the trajectory of pharmaceutical advancements. Pharmaceutical firms dedicate considerable efforts to ensure the smooth progression of ongoing clinical trials given their high costs, complexity, stringent regulations and lengthy duration. Despite the imperative to develop effective treatments, less than 5% of eligible patients take part in clinical research, a situation even more pronounced for racial and ethnic minorities. 6-29% of clinical trials end prematurely due to recruitment challenges or finish without meeting their original recruitment goals. According to a survey by Thermo Fisher Scientific's clinical research division, over 150 dedicated decision-making leaders in pharmaceutical and biotech companies identified regulatory hurdles as a top concern, with 46% of respondents acknowledging its significance.

Steering through the complexities of clinical trials leads pharma into the dynamic realm of manufacturing where the meticulous processes of bringing a drug from conception to production introduces its own set of formidable obstacles. Digital transformation in manufacturing is widely recognized as vital for sustained success, with 95% of organizations acknowledging its importance. However, establishing a digital thread exhibits a significant challenge. Currently, a limited number of organizations have access to inter departmental data, data from customers products on field and from suppliers. Pharmaceutical industries face an intricate and heavily regulated supply chain, posing challenges for supply chain visibility and supplier management. While industry 4.0 and Industry NeXT technologies hold great promise for the pharmaceutical sector, the lack of integration between IT and OT along with silo data are roadblocks to success.

The global IT/OT convergence market, valued at $96 billion in 2022, is expected to grow at 14% CAGR to reach $280 billion by 2030. According to IBM, 87% of pharmaceutical manufacturers currently manage IT and OT cyber risk separately. 

Achieving net zero emissions by 2030 is another significant milestone on the horizon. The sustainability segment of pharma was valued at $46 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at 21.6% CAGR to reach $417 billion by 2030.

The next article in this series will explore a spectrum of innovative industry solutions, coupled with impactful HCLTech solutions that address these challenges head on and embrace the shift toward Industry NeXT. Stay tuned as we unravel the intricate tapestry of solutions steering us toward a landscape that is not only more resilient but also technologically advanced.

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