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With more crises, especially those created by the pandemic, healthcare industries should embrace technology and automation that can support pharma companies in mitigating increased complexity and seizing opportunities.
FREMONT, CA:The market disruption caused by the pandemic has primed every aspect of the pharma industry for change. Today, with more crises awaiting, there is a huge chance for the pharmaceutical world to adopt new technologies with a sense of urgency. Technology and automation can support pharma companies in various ways by alleviating increased complexity and seizing opportunities in the coming years.
Enhancing Crisis Readiness Through Digital Workflows
During accelerated process design, pharma companies should move away from manual pen-and-paper workflows, which risk clerical errors and data integrity violations. Digital batch execution management, electronic lab notebooks, and factory dashboards reduce these error-prone processes. Furthermore, digital workflows facilitate collaboration throughout the product life cycle, allowing for data-driven decision-making and improved inspection readiness.
Modelling and Simulation for Research and Development
The need to develop and scale up new processes promptly with limited material resources is a common characteristic of a crisis environment. This is where mechanistic modelling of key process operations can play a significant role. This approach leverages subject matter expertise in engineering, biology, and chemistry to streamline advancement and scale-up processes and product design without reducing quality.
Converting Raw Data More Useful
Contemporary operating units generate a variety of process data, but this data is not considered sufficient for critical monitoring, control, and release workflows, particularly in the case of legacy operating lines. The effectiveness and reliability of process analytical technology (PAT) have improved significantly in recent years. Optimising this to enrich operations data streams enables faster commercialisation, more cost-efficient production, and reduced supply lead times.
Preparing Ahead of Unplanned Downtime and Disruption
During an emergency, there will be a lean on the physical assets supporting all development, manufacturing, and distribution operations, and, in many cases, legacy assets will need to be repurposed. This indicates that asset management and maintenance are critical to ensuring operational readiness and agility. Asset performance management (APM) solutions paired with machine learning models support predictive and prescriptive maintenance of this equipment, mitigating unplanned equipment shutdowns and possible supply disruptions.
Ensuring On-Time Delivery of Medicines
Those working in supply chain management (SCM) and scheduling in pharma have witnessed the challenges of reliability in producing and distributing medicines globally and the complexity and fragility of many of the supply chains. Using digital solutions to assist scheduling, SCM, and supply chain optimisation workflows during volatility and disruption periods can improve medicine accessibility, quality, and affordability.
Digitalisation is a progress accelerator that can affect the entire product lifecycle in the pharmaceutical industry, from research and development to the supply chain. However, pharma companies should get started and should evolve with haste to build resilience for the next one, as they have already demonstrated the ability to respond to global challenges.