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2017: a year when change brings opportunity

Posted on January 10, 2017 by

Helena Rogers, Zenith Technologies

future-in-pharma-resized-png2017 is set to be an important year for the pharmaceutical industry, with the serialization  deadline for US companies approaching in November. Pharmaceutical serialization, which demands that all licensed drug products have their own unique identifier, presents a huge operational challenge for pharmaceutical companies across the globe, yet also brings a number of opportunities for business improvements.

But what else will 2017 bring? We’ve been looking ahead to what the future holds and talking to some of our experts on what they predict for the industry.

Joe Haugh, CEO at Zenith Technologies says: “The life sciences sector is changing and we have good reason to be optimistic. Reform driven drug price controls, patient centric care models and the concept of value based payment all place patients at the heart of drug development.

“Scientific and technological advancements are bringing new possibilities to the industry. Mobile technology, social media and big data analytics are set to make an even greater impact in 2017, creating new ways to interact with patients and generate deeper levels of insight into treatments.”

A key factor in driving greater productivity and flexibility this year will be the integration of data into the drug development and manufacturing process, all while ensuring data integrity. In many cases, manufacturing takes place across diverse facilities and geographic locations, creating new operational challenges. The trend towards gene therapies, live viruses and personalised medicines also mean smaller batch sizes and the need for visibility across multiple lines and sites. By connecting and automating systems and processes, great value can be achieved and companies can future-proof their business.

However, with new automated systems comes an extra requirement – to support and maintain the technology. Without proper support, these systems will come to the end of their lifecycle ahead of time. This is why we expect to see greater adoption of the managed services model in 2017. The industry continues to suffer from an engineering skills gap and so third party support will be key.

We urge companies in the life sciences sector to be brave and bold with their IT decisions this year. The industry has been slow to adopt the cloud, however as developments such as serialization and the globalisation of manufacturing sites make this a necessary consideration, we expect its use to grow. We look forward to helping our customers to navigate these changes and realise the benefits that technology can bring in 2017 and beyond.

Read more about Zenith Technologies’ predictions for the New Year in the January issue of in-Pharma Technologist.

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