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Our primary business focus is on complex, regulated drug delivery devices and connected health solutions

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Phillips-Medisize is an end-to-end provider of innovation, development and manufacturing solutions to the pharmaceutical, diagnostics, medical device and specialty commercial market segments. In an exclusive interview, Bill Welch, its Chief Technology Officer, discloses his company’s plans for India’s life sciences segment and the role it wants to play in transforming healthcare and making it more patient-centric, in an exclusive têtê-a-têtê with Lakshmipriya Nair

Tell us about your presence and evolution in the India market.
With the company’s Primary Pharma Packaging Business, Phillips-Medisize has an almost 20 year presence in the Indian market where it has collaborated to provide high end packaging solutions to Indian Pharma. The opening of our India office in 2018 was a very exciting time for our customers and our company. As part of our continued strategy to be in the right places for our customers, we provide a local presence along with our global continuum of services for our Indian customers. Most importantly, this initiative is aligned with our strategy to achieve service excellence by ensuring maximum personal availability for our valued customers. With the local presence of Vivek Malhotra, Sr Director Business Development, Asia, we look forward to addressing the networking challenges of customers in the region as they look to deploy more intelligent drug delivery solutions. In 2019, we have started to create our Global Innovation and Development (GID) centre in Bengaluru, to building a healthcare focussed team within the well-established Molex capabilities already in place there.

In which major areas/functions of the life sciences sector do you provide solutions for?
The wide variety of our contract services featured include device strategy, product development and manufacturing across specialty drug delivery devices, disposable insulin pens, blood glucose metres, inhalators, and wearable as well as connected drug delivery devices designed to improve patient engagement and drive better outcomes. The combined global resources of Molex and its parent company Koch Industries, give us a core advantage in integrating design, moulding, electronics, and automation to provide innovative, high-quality manufacturing solutions.

How are you playing a role in transforming the healthcare industry in India?
Our primary business focus is on complex, regulated drug delivery devices and connected health solutions. Together with our customers, we challenge and push the limits of product design and development to help transform the diagnosis and delivery of healthcare. Since Drug Delivery Systems are playing a critical role in global biosimilars and generics markets, we are helping Indian pharma companies to enter into global markets by expediting product development with proven technology accelerators and showing them on how to gain a competitive edge with human-centred design for devices, and technology solutions that support global commercialisation. Now, on top, being the global leader for connected health, we are inviting India pharma Inc to join us on the journey towards connected devices. We know what Indian pharma needs in terms of support and expertise to ensure success on connected health. With the rapid expansion of data connectivity in Indian market, our Connected Health Platform and powerful analytics will be helping to improve patient engagement and adherence. This would help expand health coverage in India and provide enhanced healthcare across the country and social strategy.

How can solutions from Phillips Medisize help the pharma sector embrace patient centricity to remain relevant, profitable, and to deliver better health outcomes?
Through innovation leadership, true end-to-end services, electronics integration, and technology accelerators, we create more value for our customers. By driving innovation at every level and project phase, we help customers bring better drug delivery devices and connected health solutions to market swiftly, with increased confidence. An integrated product development model incorporates the right people, systems, and processes, thus has powerful potential to deliver innovative solutions and streamline the design cycle. Human factors and patient centricity support many functional disciplines as its continued involvement ensures that human-centred design principles are integrated throughout development process. Early engagement, a cross-functional approach, and effective communication leads to prioritised user needs, managed risks, and a united development team. This collaborative, cross-functional approach results in safety, effectiveness, quality, reliability and compliance.

How are digital technologies transforming pharma R&D?
Connected Health Platform and powerful analytics are helping to improve patient engagement and adherence. Utilising connectivity in drug delivery devices such as injectors and inhalers, connected health solutions help pharma companies, healthcare professionals and patients, improve how people take their medication. In addition to medication tracking, these systems support patients through reminders, incentives and peer communities to improve disease management, medication adherence and, ideally, outcomes.

What are the major challenges for pharma companies in their efforts to become more patient-centric?
Poor adherence to medication is a costly challenge worldwide, both to patients and pharma companies. An estimated 50 per cent of medications for chronic diseases are not taken as prescribed, resulting in up to 70 per cent of emergency department admissions. A robust information sharing and analytics platform enables pharma companies to connect and aggregate medication and diagnostic information across their medicines and therapy areas on a single-enterprise private cloud platform. Such a platform allows them to integrate data from multiple other sources, such as diagnostic devices, biometric sensors and electronic medical records. HCPs can review patient medication adherence, biomarkers and patient reported outcomes to help manage the patient’s condition and boost adherence.

What are the steps that pharma companies need to take to remain an important link between patients and physicians?
By integrating connectivity into innovatively designed, patient-centric drug delivery devices, such as injectors and inhalers, pharma companies can make it easier and simpler for people to take their medication on-time and monitor their condition. These connected smart devices can track medication administration, collect patient data and instruct and support patients with reminders, incentives, educational content and access to peer communities. The goal is to help patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals (HCPs) improve not only medication adherence but also disease management and, ideally, outcomes.

How are you leveraging technology to usher in new paradigms in drug development and delivery?
Our approach to electronics integration and connected health is based on experience. With expertise in electronics hardware, software engineering, PCBA manufacturing and assembly, we have capabilities to partner with customers to create connected health solutions. Connected health platforms are an efficient way to collect patient data and provide instructional content for patients, healthcare providers and caregivers.

What are your plans for India’s life sciences sector in the next five years? 
Phillips-Medisize is poised to play a large and impactful role in India. We are working to bring our complete range of capabilities and solutions which would be made available to pharma, med-tech and diagnostic companies. We are also working to develop partnership solutions which are tuned to local business models. Our Connected Health Platform and powerful analytics will be helping to improve patient engagement and adherence. This would help expand health coverage in India and provide enhanced healthcare across the country and social strata. With our global reach, cutting-edge technologies, integrated service model and a sound financial base we will become the partner of choice of Indian healthcare.

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