http://www.digitaljournal.com/business/from-ai-to-restructuring-major-pharma-trends/article/558235

From AI to restructuring: Major Pharma Trends

Posted Sep 20, 2019 by Tim Sandle
Pharmaceuticals remains in a state of change, from precision medicines to artificial intelligence; and with further restructuring and mergers, and new job roles. These trends are drawn out in a new industry survey.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said it will appeal a US federal court s refusal to extend patent protec...
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said it will appeal a US federal court's refusal to extend patent protection for its blockbuster Celebrex drug used to treat arthritis
Mandel Ngan, AFP/File
Several key trends in pharmaceuticals are drawn out from a new PwC report "Healthcare and pharmaceutical trends". The report is based on surveys conducted with C-suite executives working at major pharmaceutical companies. There are changes, challenges and opportunities, not least stemming from the fact that operational and production costs have grown, and so too has the demand for pharmaceutical products worldwide.
Three of the main trends are examined below.
Restructuring
The survey indicates that leaders of most global biopharma companies have launched restructuring programs, designed to reposition their companies as legacy products decline and to enable new opportunities to be developed, such as precision (or personalized) medicines. Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person.
Restructuring initiatives include developing new job roles, such as recruiting people with skills in areas like artificial intelligence to asset with drug discovery; reducing staff; refocusing R&D, and divesting poorly-performing or sub-scale businesses.
The age of AI
Much of the pharmaceutical drug development process is lengthy in terms of time and money. Artificial intelligence can create new efficiencies, especially with the drug development process. An example here is with using old drugs for new treatments (what is termed 'resupposing').
In other areas of the business, the application of predictive and analytic technologies can enable firms to make smarter, faster, and more strategic decisions. Hence, AI will be critical to the future of pharma as the amount of available data and monitoring devices increase.
Overall, PwC estimates AI will contribute US$15.7 trillion in global GDP gains by 2030.
Big data
Pharmaceutical companies are accumulating large quantities of data and, from this, molehills of intelligence. Despite the vast stores of raw data available, very little becomes translated into actionable intelligence that CEOs can use. This information gap is something that C-suite leaders are keen to address through ensuring that computerized systems communicate better (improving operations architecture) and by employing new analytical talent.