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Credibility Issue: Why Pharmas Need Better Visibility into the Supply Chain—and Consumer Needs

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2 minute read
Back to blog
2 minute read

With complex, fragmented supply chains and the immense volume and variety of data coming in from partners and pharmacies, achieving end-to-end visibility into the supply chain remains an elusive goal. But without it, how can pharmas make the right decisions on what’s best for patient health and building stronger one-to-one relationships with consumers?

And now more than ever, strengthening those relationships with consumers is crucial. As the cost of drugs in the United States continues to skyrocket, patient dissatisfaction with drug companies and distrust for the industry in general is also on the rise. In fact, according to a recent Deloitte survey on the patient journey, when it comes to educating themselves on the effectiveness of treatments, nearly 50% of consumers consider academic hospitals and medical societies trusted sources of information, but only 25% of them trust pharmaceutical companies to provide the same information. To reverse this trend, today’s patient-consumer will require more from pharmaceutical companies—more transparency, more access to information and more personalized engagement with treatment plans throughout the patient journey.

Though the realization is beginning to take root that digital health strategies are critical throughout the entire drug lifecycle, adoption of the innovative technologies that ease the way for this transformation has been slow across the pharmaceutical industry—and especially so in the supply chain.

Adopting a digital pharma supply chain will not only open up a world of opportunity to improve patient engagement and trust in drug suppliers, but the improvements will also reduce inefficient and error-prone manual processes that increase a pharma’s risk and jeopardize its brand integrity—and revenue.

At last month’s LogiPharma event in Philadelphia, I hosted a roundtable panel discussion, Pharma 4.0 – Driving Business Value by Connecting Data from Bench to Bedside, that explored how industry-leading companies are leveraging data across the supply chain to improve operations at less cost.

What was clear from the panel was that pharmas no longer see the supply chain as just a means for getting products from point A to point Z—of course pharmas need to do that as securely and cost-effectively as possible—but as the first link in a digital business model that leverages all of an organization’s valuable data to drive innovation, safety and profit.

While automation, AI and machine learning promise to make supply chain operations safer and more efficient, a company’s ability to implement and leverage these new technologies first requires adoption of an agile, sustainable data platform. By providing critical enterprise capabilities, such as a complete 360 view of all data, traceability, data governance and advanced security, MarkLogic’s agile data hub empowers pharmas to maintain efficient control over products from the factory floor to the medicine cabinet.

The data hub also allows for rapid, multi-structured data integration, meaning even complex supply chains can build a centralized hub that enables faster identification of areas in need of improvement—at less time and cost.

With the ability to efficiently connect data from across the supply chain, bridging critical knowledge gaps and improving end-to-end visibility, the data hub is an ideal platform for advancing digital transformation across the drug lifecycle.

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Bill Fox

Bill Fox JD, MA is the VP of Vertical Strategy and the Global CSO of Healthcare and Life Sciences at MarkLogic. He is a former attorney and healthcare executive with 25 years of experience and is a nationally recognized thought leader in healthcare predictive analytics, big data, program integrity and data security and privacy.

Bill serves on the HIMSS Health Business Solutions Taskforce and Business Edge Magazine, the thought leaders panel of Predictive Modeling News, and the Board of Directors of the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance.

He is a prior appointee to the Strategic Planning Committee of the National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association and is a former Senior Fellow at the Jefferson School of Population Health. He has held healthcare leadership positions at Emdeon, Booz Allen Hamilton, and LexisNexis. He is the former Deputy Chief of Economic and Cyber Crime at the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and law firm partner. Bill is a graduate of Temple University Graduate School and the Villanova School of Law.

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