The importance of information technology and its potential to enhance the life sciences industry’s performance has been accentuated by the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, the whole value chain in the pharma sector is expected to see far-reaching changes. Bino George, Director, Solution Consulting, Infor India, explains how the Indian pharma sector can gain a competitive edge by becoming more compliant, efficient and proactive with technology-adoption and how his company can partner the pharma sector in this transformation
As a technology partner, tell us how COVID-19 is causing a metamorphosis in the life sciences industry.
The pandemic has hurried the drug discovery process as a lot of companies are now trying to discover the vaccine. It is going to be tough trying to discover and fulfil the needs of the population as we are already hearing about the evolution of other viruses too. When it comes to pandemic situations, it is important to a) respond quickly and handle the situation with whatever tools are available, b) work efficiently towards minimising the number of deaths among the people and c) minimise exposure of people by imposing stringent rules to flatten the curve. These are the three drivers and Infor has responded quickly and fairly effectively to the pandemic.
What are your views on technology adoption in the pharma sector?
In the pharma industry, technology has become a mandate for some of the compliances. Whether it is compliance or attaining a competitive edge, companies are looking at IT as a great enabler for achieving both. A lot of companies have started showing interest in the whole knowledge retention piece. It means that if they’re doing any kind of project, they would want to hold the knowledge within so that usability, innovation and speed to market are faster in the days to come.
What are the new practices that the Indian pharma sector needs to adopt to prepare for the future? How are you enabling these practices?
Pharma sector is heavily compliance-driven globally and we cannot get too innovative because we cannot risk the lives of humans who are going to consume these medicines for their various ailments. FDA is the highest standard that we have seen and has been one of the key drivers for technology. That is one space we are really chasing. Today, most of the pharma companies are able to trace the production batches. Tomorrow if there is a complaint of any nature they can to trace it back. We are also able to help a company attain energy efficiency as every equipment company’s use is rated to certain energy consumption – if it is higher or lower that means the equipment is technically getting damaged. So, compliance, energy consumption, emissions, carbon footprint compliance, these are aspects for pharma that we’re working on, globally and in India.
The pandemic has highlighted how the life sciences industry always needs to be in a prepared mode to deal with crises. So, how is Infor enabling performance optimisation, assets and equipment deployment for customers?
In the last 10 years, India has been playing a key role in developing and expanding the pharma business. But the challenge is to discover world-class drugs, drugs that are able to pass the most stringent tests by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the US. When it comes to technology, Infor has been bringing value to the whole pharma industry and providing our enterprise asset management solution, which is enabling our customers to comply with the 21 CFR Part 11 which is one