PwC’s Johnathon Marshall: ‘Digital transformation about to sweep pharma’

23 Sep 201661 Shares

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Johnathon Marshall, PwC UK pharma leader. Image: Connor McKenna

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The pharma industry is about to be swept by a wave of digital transformation that will evolve all aspects of drug delivery from R&D to manufacture and the patient.

According to PwC’s pharma leader for the UK, Johnathon Marshall, the pharma industry faces a real challenge as it looks to embrace digital technologies in the manufacture and delivery of new therapies.

Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com at the BioPharma Ambition Conference at Dublin Castle, Marshall said that the pharma industry needs to follow other industries and embrace new technologies, from augmented reality and radio frequency ID (RFID) tag-controlled manufacturing facilities to proactive marketing and promotion management in the retail environment.

‘The sector is facing a real challenge as it looks to embrace emerging technologies in both the manufacture and delivery of new therapies’
– JOHNATHON MARSHALL

“I think the whole digitalisation agenda in pharma is becoming quite fascinating.

“Historically, pharma has been quite slow picking up on new technologies because risk is a huge issue for the industry.

Better care for the patient

Marshall said that regulators like the FDA are all wanting to help foster innovation that will ultimately result in better care for the patient.

“That means accelerating the value chain by bringing new technologies and new innovations to bear. Things like continuous manufacturing is a great way of giving infinite capability; more efficient, better carbon footprint; lower costs; augmented reality techniques as well – a whole raft of capabilities coming in,” Marshall said.

“The sector is facing a real challenge as it looks to embrace emerging technologies in both the manufacture and delivery of new therapies. The movement to smaller batch sizes, combination therapies, biopharma products, regenerative meds and cell therapies will require a significant overhaul of supply strategies and models and will need bravery and discipline to deliver in a cost efficient manner,” he added.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com