Covid 19 Pandemic has affected people, communities, businesses, and almost every sector globally including the pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, it continues to impact almost every aspect of daily life across the globe socially, financially, and health-wise. The pharmaceutical sector worldwide is overwhelmed with the repercussions of the Covid 19 Pandemic with both positive and negative outcomes. Here are some significant areas that were affected during the pandemic:
Moving towards Digitalization and Automation
Covid 19 has created significant turbulence for many pharmaceutical companies. As a result, Pharma companies require a change in going forward and need to be wise when it comes to the decisions for the future. One such step would be towards digitization. During uncertain times, adapting to digital transformation is essential. With precise planning, digital transformation helps to improve the productivity of manufacturing and gives financial sustainability.
In addition, swift processing is the main advantage of digital tools and automating manufacturing processes because the machine-driven process uses artificial intelligence and less human involvement. Moreover, companies have adopted remote auditing of contract companies and remote release of products as their new business strategies. Additionally, hiring a skilled workforce is taking place that can program, operate, and generate data from the new automated machinery.
Effects on the supply chain management
The supply chain is widely affected due to Covid 19 Pandemic. In addition, lockdown in various countries slowed down transport and cargo operations significantly, resulting in delayed raw materials and API availability. Therefore, it is necessary to have a safe supply chain that can provide consistent quality and quick delivery without any intervention. Today, pharmaceutical companies are vigilant and paying close attention to their suppliers, and maintaining constant contact through digital technologies as a learning lesson.
As a result, supply chains are already becoming more diverse to minimize reliance on a single source of raw materials allowing companies to maintain quality, make and track orders, and get support quickly from suppliers, despite social distancing and travel restrictions.
Risk Assessment of Procedures of products as well as personnel
Pharmaceutical companies should consider risk assessment of the current product development procedures and personnel during the pandemic and make their strategies for the safety of each individual. Many companies have already developed and started following standard operating procedures to meet the Covid-19 impact and its challenges.
For example, companies are now focusing more on contactless operations, personal hygiene, social distancing, and taking all necessary precautions to avoid human transmissions at workplaces and manufacturing facilities by keeping in mind the seriousness of virus spread. In addition, companies are even cautious of their partnerships with contract manufacturing companies due to their dependencies.
But more importantly, these organizations are now acutely aware of the unforeseen contingencies that may arise and are better prepared to handle them. These exigencies may pertain to financials, operations, supply chain resilience, or other such factors. Nevertheless, companies have now nurtured a more robust structure to address them.
The economic slowdown of non-covid drugs
The industry has faced a severe economic downfall, and stocks of many companies are on the verge of collapse due to Covid 19 pandemic. In addition, the companies that are not involved in manufacturing vaccines, personal protective equipment, masks, or building solutions to support remote care delivery are extensively affected.
In addition, several companies face delayed approval of non-covid related pharmaceutical products and delays in reviewing their applications. As a result, many Asian companies are ceasing their operations as they do not possess digital readiness. On the other hand, many new and upcoming industries from countries like India are emerging as the new pharmaceutical hubs. This is due to the readiness and resilience demonstrated by these companies and the rapid evolution of the policy framework that acts as significant support from the government.
Implementing new ways of handling R&D and Clinical trials
The pandemic has changed the approach of many pharmaceutical companies. As a result, several organizations across the globe are working tirelessly to produce the vaccine and drug development for the covid cure. In addition, the pandemic has shown diversification of pharma companies to produce new products with innovations and research with various other medicines that were in progress before the pandemic.
Companies have initiated new ways of carrying out clinical trials safely and effectively by using electronic tools and additional remote medical options in homes to monitor progress. The remote clinical trials allow patients to participate without the concerns of COVID-19 exposure. In addition, nursing care has been provided at home for specific therapies to conduct the necessary physical examinations. They also allow pharmaceutical companies to contact patients directly and explore creative potential stakeholder journeys.
We have discussed the challenges and moving forwards from the pandemic. One must adapt to the NEW NORMAL in the pharmaceutical industry after considering the above aspects.
Before or after the Covid 19 pandemic, the Pharmaceutical industry continuously operated to save human lives and manufacture medicines for patients’ well-being. But as the pandemic raged, the industry rose to the occasion and contributed significantly towards the control, treatment, and vaccination against the disease.