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Industry Trends in Pharma IT & Services
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The largest pharma companies such as AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, and Roche often spend 20%+ of annual revenues on R&D initiatives.(1) Coupled with pharma’s R&D spend is massive IT & analytics spend meant to bring efficiency, better decision-making, and better outcomes to convoluted processes along the pre-clinical/clinical and commercialization pathways. In years past, market-leading companies – such as IQVIA, Veeva Systems, Dassault Systemes (Medidata Solutions), and Oracle – have led innovation in the segment through the creation and acquisition of technology-enabled services and software solutions.
Despite the breadth of solutions from major IT & Services leaders, teams continue to face new challenges while navigating the rapidly transforming pharma industry landscape. Through extensive research and in-depth conversations with executives at the world’s largest life sciences companies, Silversmith’s Healthcare IT & Services team has identified three key industry trends driving change for pharma teams in the years ahead.
Trend #1: The Rising Tide of First and Third-Party Data
The adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), data analytics tools, and digital imaging has driven a large influx in clinical data. This influx – coupled with the broader trends of shift-to-value and digitization – has increased the need for the transparent exchange of clinical and economic data.(2) For pharma companies, this means collecting, managing, and analyzing substantial quantities of data is becoming an increasingly important factor in driving efficiencies, cost savings, and, ultimately, better patient outcomes throughout drug development and commercialization. In the coming years, we expect pharma-specific, data-services technologies and third-party, specialized consultancies to become increasingly integrated within pharma processes.
Trend #2: The Shift from In-Person to Virtual Engagement
Direct engagement with the medical community is a top priority for pharma companies. Pharma advisory board meetings have traditionally met in-person, often with 40+ experts, many of whom travel from across the globe. The global pandemic has driven these meetings – and the collaboration necessary pre/post-meeting – to the virtual setting. Pharma executives tell us that virtual meetings are here to stay – with virtual advisory boards leading the way for virtual engagement and transformation across organizations.
Trend #3: The Ever-Increasing Cost and Difficulty of Bringing a Drug to Market
Drug development costs continue to grow precipitously, driven by the boom in specialty drugs and challenged by the declining success rate of bringing a drug through clinical trials, which, at around 12%, has almost halved in recent years.(4) Further, of drugs that miss their launch forecast, about half miss due to market access failures around regulation, market entry, pricing, and reimbursement.(5) Pharma leaders are on the lookout for solutions that can help mitigate and manage the ever-increasing cost and complexity of bringing a drug to the nuanced global mark
We believe technology-first solutions will continue to pave the way in addressing pharma’s challenges. Silversmith has been fortunate to partner with entrepreneurs addressing each of these three trends through investments in Market Access Transformation (global pharma information exchange), Panalgo (real-world evidence analytics), and Within3 (virtual engagement and collaboration). Teams – from HEOR to Market Access to Advisory Boards, to name a few – across all Top 20 pharma companies use one or more of these platforms to help bring insights, focus, and clarity to their work.
Looking forward, we believe pharma companies will continue to be nimble when it comes to adopting and deeply integrating third-party solutions that help drive innovation. We are excited to play our part through our work with our existing portfolio companies and will build and expand upon pharma as a core strategy within our Healthcare IT & Services practice in the coming years.