The pharmaceutical industry as a whole has changed drastically in the past 40 years. Advancements in medical technology and drugs have revolutionized healthcare as we know it and enabled many people to live a better quality of life thanks to these changes, from groundbreaking research critical to the implementation of new vaccines to combat global health threats and pandemics to allowing patients to control their health and take matters in their own hand's thanks to consumer wearables.
But with new medications facing a 12-15 year wait to be approved for use, how can pharma companies sustain this long-term development? Maximizing the budget and investing in areas where you will see a greater return is vital; as such, knowing how to reduce the budget to stay on track and meet growth goals and objectives is critical.
This post looks at some of the ways pharma companies can reduce costs effectively without compromising on quality.
Outsourcing is a popular option for drug companies looking to reduce costs and improve efficiency. By outsourcing various aspects of their manufacturing process to specialized companies, drug manufacturers can focus on their core competencies and allocate resources more effectively. Outsourcing can also help companies stay competitive by providing access to the latest technologies and innovations in the industry.
One area to look into when considering outsourcing is the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). API manufacturers specialize in the production of these critical components, which drug companies then use to create their finished products.
The benefits of outsourcing APIs are that you can reduce your overhead costs and any risks associated with production delays or quality control issues.
Moving on, outsourcing manufacturing can not only free up time spent creating an effective packaging operation but reduce costs from running this too. Specialist pharma manufacturers will already be equipped with the latest equipment, technology, and supplies, such as blister pack packaging, labeling raw materials, and more. There will also be up-to-date on the latest regulations and terminology required to ensure all medications are labeled correctly and nothing has been overlooked.
Introduction can also be effective when it comes to scaling up for increased demand, even if temporarily. Recently you may have seen in the news that Ozempic stocks are running low. This is a vital drug for diabetics that is currently being used for weight loss, and as such, the popularity of the drug on social media has increased demand in the short term leading to shortages. Outsourcing can help you to meet fluctuations in the market and ensure your patients get the medication they need when they need it with no delay.
Lab as A Service (LaaS)
Lab as a Service might be a new concept, but it is already gaining much traction in the pharm world. It is essentially a way of reducing operation by renting the service on a long or short-term basis to facilitate the production or development of new drugs. Unlike developing your own lab, LaaS comes with skilled personnel, lab space, equipment, and everything else you might need to conduct your business.
The beauty of this service is that it can allow you to access space, talent, and technology that you might not have otherwise been able to invest in and will enable you to improve your production and output considerably. You can take advantage of various services, from a basic lab room to fully equipped research facilities, depending on precisely what you need. This makes it ideal for smaller companies or new start-ups to get ahead faster rather than being hindered by a lack of access to vital aspects of the industry.
Improved Patient Engagement Services
Undoubtedly, clinical research and advancements won't succeed without patient cooperation. When it comes to a clinical trial, around 30% of participants will drop out before the end. This not only has massive financial implications but can set back studies and development massively.
Drug companies need to focus more on patient information, research, engagement, and relationships to help improve the success rate of trials and push forward with new research and development strategies.
Decentralized Clinical Trials
As mentioned above, clinical trials are vital for innovation, but when carried out without due diligence, it can be a costly endeavor if the trial isn't a success.
Decentralizing trials can offer you an improved success rate and remove much of the cost associated with trials requiring participants to attend locations. While this is always possible, conducting at-home trials where possible can be instrumental in getting the results you need.
To do this successfully, you need to utilize technology and digital options to ensure compliance is being adhered to and the results are genuine and reflective of what you are trying to achieve.
Another benefit is you can reduce the pressure on patients by allowing them to participate at home and reduce travel and out-of-pocket expenses associated with coming to a clinic. You can check in via video calls sending data via wearable technology if possible to collect data and monitor progress.
Not only can this option be more attractive in encouraging people to participate in trials, but it can also be a more cost-effective option for pharmaceutical companies.
AI has been making significant changes to pharma in recent years, and as this technology expands its capabilities, it can further enhance how drug companies operate or not only reduce costs and release the burden of manual labor but not improve results and offer a more specialist and personalized product that massively benefits the patient which is the goal after all.
AI can be instrumental in recognizing patterns to assist in finding side effects in new drugs and frequency of occurrence, faster data analysis again for reported side effects, and collation of data from clinical trials and gaps in the market for new drugs, to name a few.
In a more physical sense, AI can automate repetitive processes and allow you to utilize human labor in more hands-on areas to devote more resources in this way.
Rather than being a tool to replace the human aspect of clinical studies and R&D, it should be to enhance what is already being done to complement work schedules and innovation and overall enhanced and improved results.
Effective Risk Management
Managing risk is a critical part of the pharmaceutical industry, where the consequences of failure can be significant. Effective risk management involves:
- Identifying potential hazards.
- Assessing their likelihood and impact.
- Developing strategies to mitigate or avoid them.
One area where risk management is critical is in the manufacturing process. Drug companies must ensure that their products are manufactured to the highest quality and compliance standards. Failure in this area can have severe consequences for patient safety and regulatory compliance.
Another area where risk management is essential in developing new drugs. Clinical trials are a critical part of the drug development process. Still, they also involve significant risks, including the risk of adverse events and the risk of failure to meet regulatory requirements.
Overall, effective risk management is critical to success in the pharmaceutical industry. By identifying and managing risks effectively, drug companies can reduce the likelihood of failures, minimize the impact of any failures that do occur, and ensure that their products are safe and effective for patients.
Optimization of Calibration Devices
Calibration of devices play a critical role in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of measurements in the pharmaceutical industry. These devices must be calibrated regularly to ensure that they perform within the required specifications, and any failures in calibration can have severe consequences for patient safety and regulatory compliance.
Optimizing calibration devices involves ensuring they are calibrated correctly, consistently, and efficiently. This can affect the use of automated calibration tools and the development of standard operating procedures and training programs to ensure that calibration is performed consistently across all devices.
Another critical aspect of calibration optimization is the use of data analytics to identify trends and patterns in calibration data. This can help to identify potential issues before they become serious problems and can also help to optimize calibration schedules and procedures to minimize downtime and maximize efficiency.
Optimizing calibration devices is essential to ensure the accuracy and reliability of measurements in the pharmaceutical industry. By optimizing calibration processes and leveraging data analytics, drug companies can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and ensure that their products are safe and effective for patients.
Standardizing assets is vital for not only saving money and cutting costs but ensuring a level of consistency and quality across the board.
You need to standardize equipment, processes, procedures, and quality control or ensure that everyone is working not the same standards. When this can be, achieved, you can reduce waste and errors from employees not following the same procedures and achieve the level of quality required.
Putting these measures into place can not only help you to reduce lead times but instill a higher level of quality in your products and increase reliability and confidence in the results you produce.
Innovation is a powerful tool for drug companies looking to reduce costs and improve efficiency in manufacturing. Pharmaceutical companies hold great responsibility and must ensure they are not only following protocols and industry standards and regulations but hold themselves accountable to be able to improve efficiency and reduce costs without compromising at all.