At a Glance

  • The economic upheaval caused by the shutdowns to prevent the spread of coronavirus is raging globally, and many industries, including the pharmaceutical sector is facing uncertainties.
  • The pharma companies, however, have another significant role in the pandemic, and that around managing Pharma operations during the pandemic.
  • The unprecedented demand and expectation from the pharma sector in terms of R&D, production, supply chain management, and cost optimization is presenting many issues across the industry.
  • Top executives and decision-makers will need to maneuver their pharma companies in a calculated manner to rise to humanity’s occasion and make their businesses steady again.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus across the globe halted air travel, crumbling healthcare systems, countries going under lockdowns, thousands losing their jobs, and a looming prospect of the economic crisis are all the events that we as a world have seen in 2020. Industries across the board face the brunt of disrupted supply chains, skeletal workforce, and dwindling investments. However, one industry to which everybody is looking with bated breaths is the pharmaceutical industry- for it can provide an answer to this pandemic in the form of a drug or a vaccine.

Figure 1:Adverse Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic Globally

Adverse Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic Globally

To say that major and minor pharma companies have sprung into action would be an understatement! The leaders and decision-makers from different pharma companies have responded reasonably quickly and are guiding the world towards a better tomorrow. However, the ‘new normal’ that we live in currently presents many pharmaceutical industry challenges (from financial to operational).

According to a report by Global Data, 23 percent from the pharmaceutical sector are concerned about supply and demand gaps tied to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Let us take a look at some of the top concerns that the pharmaceutical sector will be facing in the current times and the post-covid-19 world:

1.Disrupted Supply ChainOver the globe, supply chains have been broken, disrupted, and some have even come to a grinding halt because of the nation-wide lockdowns, closed borders, and halted air travel. The coronavirus pandemic has created a disorder of the kind that we have never witnessed before. The pharma sector drives its operations through the smooth running of the supply chain to deliver drugs and vaccines across the globe by:

  • rapid procurement of raw material and chemicals for drug manufacturing
  • managing equipment for research & production
  • optimized warehouse management
  • inventory management through track and trace
  • on time in full shipments to customers

The industry executives will need to reduce their pharmaceutical supply chain challenges by changing strategies and using available resources to their fullest. A robust supply chain management (SCM) tool with interconnectivity and interoperability can work wonders to realign the supply chain and provide extensive visibility to stakeholders that sequentially bring processes back on track for pharma companies.

2.Need for Highly Skilled Workforce Almost all the developed and many developing companies are involved in research, development, and clinical trials for the potential coronavirus vaccine. This research requires scientists with immense knowledge, experience, and skills. The pharma sector will need to boost its investment in the high-skill workforce to continue making progress in the current and future times.

3.Humongous Data Collation and AnalysisThe research and clinical trials for potential drug treatments and vaccines for coronavirus worldwide generate unprecedented amounts of data and information. Paramedical experts and scientists in the pharma industry look at agile tools to collate and manage data while generating insights. After all, the clinical trial data insights will help pharma companies guide the world towards a better tomorrow.

4.Need for Agility and TransparencyWith the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been immense interest in the pharma sector’s workings by almost all social hierarchies. There is an increased need for faster, accurate, and transparent operations across the board.

5.Workforce optimization and ControlsDuring COVID-19, Pharma manufacturing companies made many adjustments to modus operandi. That includes accommodating remote workforce, social distancing when in person, wearing masks and gloves, and avoiding any possibility of spreading the coronavirus. Mainly while dealing with organic material within the raw material ingredients, additional testing is needed before the drug passes Quality and is deemed ‘in spec’. The extra impetus has led to newer Standard Operating Procedures in operations and quality when it involves batch production through batch records.

While these changes and concerns are bound to affect the pharmaceutical industry’s workings, proper management, technology, and software to navigate these challenging times will enable the pharmaceutical sector to rise to the occasion.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought forward existing and new challenges for the pharma sector. However, it has given a chance to create opportunities and get transformations that can have a positive impact on the pharmaceutical industry.

Key Takeaways

  • Pharmaceutical companies need to change their business strategies to suit the current environment and to navigate smoothly through the times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • There is a need for pharma companies to invest in robust software and tools that can optimize supply chains, facilitate automation, reduce manual labor, and systematically manage the enterprise to maximize their output.

For more information on our Microsoft offerings for the Pharmaceutical industry, Contact us today!