Tech companies such as Alphabet (Google) and various start-up companies that are more rooted in data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) than in the highly regulated healthcare sector are entering the pharmaceutical market. They make easy use of the opportunities available and will disrupt the pharma sector, as pharmaceutical companies usually lack digital and AI competencies on a larger scale. As a consequence, pharmaceutical companies need to develop more data science competencies and to transform their R&D model to become “digital pharma players” if they do not want to lose speed in innovation and lose ground in the race for better, safer and affordable drugs. So today’s questions for pharma companies are:
Pharmaceutical companies have generally realised the potential of AI in pharma R&D, but only some companies (“digital pharma players”) have started to grasp its full potential by using AI-based analytics along their entire value chains. The more traditional research-based pharma companies (“conservative pharma players”) and the ones that use AI on a project-specific basis (“selective AI explorers”) may underestimate the potential of data analytics and AI.
The editorial on the impact of AI on pharma R&D (Schuhmacher, A., Gassmann, O., Kuss, M., Hinder, M., The Art of Virtualizing Pharma R&D. Drug Discovery Today. 2019; 24: 2105-2107) describes how AI is entering the pharma market, how pharma companies can make AI part of their strategies and what kind of future pharma archetypes can be expected in the coming years.
Dr. Alexander Schuhmacher
Governance, Risk and Compliance, PwC Switzerland
Tel: +41 58 792 28 51
Head Blockchain Risk Assurance, PwC Switzerland
Tel: +41 58 792 14 55