Artificial Intelligence Pharmaceutical Insights


2021-bl-qualitech_715x320In just a few years, artificial intelligence (AI) will play an important role in the entire pharmaceutical sector. The technology behind production systems, building monitoring systems and blockchain continues to be increasingly sophisticated; and processes for clinical trials and sales are more reliant on automation. These factors are paving the way for AI to be an everyday part of business for pharmaceutical companies.

AI Explained and the Benefits to Pharma

A simple definition of AI is a program that is designed to perform tasks based on data with minimal or no approval or direction from humans. Machines collect and share data, which can be used to make multiple cross-functional calculations. This data can be thought of as a library of accumulated knowledge with numerous applications to streamline the most critical business processes.

Ultimately, big data generated by pharmaceutical companies (e.g., information from clinical trials, test results, etc.) will be used by AI to provide direction for drug synthesis, drug delivery, health care informatics and more. As a result, clinical trials and regulatory approval will happen significantly faster. Thousands of therapies will be delivered in half the time needed today.

AI in Sales and Marketing

Sales and marketing departments in pharmaceutical companies will benefit greatly from AI because data and process modelling are at the heart of their work. In the near future, AI will be an integral part of collecting and refining data as a means to determine the most profitable strategy for sales and distribution for every pharmaceutical company on the planet.

AI in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Pharmaceutical manufacturing already relies on AI-related technology including digital printing, modelling and data collection systems. As AI comes into its own, these processes will be handled remotely and simultaneously while providing the necessary information for data-driven decisions. This level of efficiency and continuous improvement would limit the number of equipment failures, reduce ramp-up time and improve communications with other facilities. Perhaps best of all, production could scale rapidly because millions of necessary calculations could be done in mere seconds.

AI and Related Challenges

Before AI can be implemented throughout the pharmaceutical industry, there are challenges that must be resolved first. Chief among them are:

  • Developing a simple and rapid way to input data.
  • Helping people trust that AI produces reliable data that can be used as part of their day-to-day operations.
  • Getting regulatory guidance for the validation of AI systems from the EU and U.S. health care authorities. (In part, this will resolve the issue of trust mentioned above.)
  • Getting regulatory guidance for AI systems from the EU and U.S. health care authorities.
  • Reducing the cost of AI to make it affordable for organizations of all sizes from large multinational corporations to small start-ups.

AI is a reality, and the demand for it will help these challenges get resolved. But how soon that can happen remains to be seen.

AI and Adoption in Pharma

The pharmaceutical industry has been slower than others to adopt AI. While advancements in robotics already make it possible to automate certain processes, the industry tends to think conservatively and continues to rely on manual systems because they are familiar. The reality is that organizations willing to embrace AI will have a significant competitive advantage in the market because of their increased agility and adaptability.

Summary

The advantages of AI are numerous, particularly for the pharmaceutical industry, and it is inevitable that AI will become an everyday part of business. AI improves efficiency, streamlines production, and shortens the length of time it takes to conduct quality reviews. The result is getting a quality product to market faster, which means getting there ahead of the competition and increased revenue.


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Ioannis Manolopoulos is Managing Director of Qualitech Engineering & Compliance. With more than 15 years industrial experience in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and the pharmaceutical sector, he has expertise in quality assurance and production. Ioannis uses his strong analytical skills and understanding of lean manufacturing to help lead digital transformation at multinational corporations and local Greek companies.

Qualitech Engineering & Compliance was established in 2019 and has worked on engineering and validation projects with customers located everywhere from China to the United States. They are leading the Greek market in quality management system (QMS) implementation and have set the country’s standard for regulatory quality and compliance in FMCG and the pharmaceutical industry. Qualitech delivers targeted solutions and projects with state-of-the art methodology for processes and drug manufacturing development.

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