Pharma is a large industry with market size of $1.3B. And the pharmaceuticals industry has been gaining more attention with the rise of COVID-19 and the need to quickly and safely develop vaccines for the public. However, according to PwC, pharma is facing difficult challenges regarding stretched budgets, increasing restrictions and policy changes, and the large size of data that needs to be collected and analyzed.
In this article, we explore RPA pharma use cases to show how RPA can help pharma industry leaders automate mundane and error-prone tasks, generate better analyses, and improve the productivity of employees and scientists.
1. Manage clinical trial processes
Drug clinical trials involve numerous repetitive processes such as patient data entry, trial data validation, and regulatory submissions to compliance teams and auditors.
RPA can automate many processes to facilitate clinical trial management, including:
- Patient data entry
- Cross checking patient records against EHR
- Patient matching to relevant trials based on their provided data
- Appointment scheduling and notification
- Trial File Master (TFM) management (e.g. data entry and updates, file transfers)
- Clinical trial reports generation
2. Automate compliance processes
Legal frameworks governing drug production are significantly important to follow and keep up to date as they have a direct impact on the health and safety of the community. With the emergence of COVID-19, Deloitte reported that regulators have continuously been modifying their compliance regulations and approaches to tackle the pandemic.
RPA solutions can help pharma businesses achieve transparent and insightful compliance by:
- Scraping regulation websites to keep up with policy modifications
- Validating if internal documentations comply with policies and regulations
- Automating regulatory submissions to auditing authorities
Additionally, all processes completed by RPA bots create audit trails that can be analyzed by audit teams to generate transparency reports.
See our in-depth article on compliance automation to explore 2 novel technologies and their uses for compliance and regulation monitoring.
3. Enhance inventory managment
Pharma inventory suffers from important challenges such as lack of planning for peak seasons (e.g. cold and flu seasons, EoY) or difficulty tracking drug shipments from origin to consumer.
RPA bots can improve inventory management by:
- Automating shipment tracking and recording delays and discrepancies.
- Automating order management processes (e.g. source-to-pay, order-to-cash).
- Automating invoices.
- Managing warehouse and storage temperatures by detecting changes from the data collected by IoT devices.
- Collecting drug expiration dates and notifying warehouse managers.
4. Automate supplier onboarding
Supplier onboarding is the processing of collecting supplier data, performing due diligence to assess their compliance measures and risks, creating and signing a contract, and implementing the data into the company’s vendor management platform. Having an accurate onboarding process in pharma reduces the risks of facing future lawsuits relevant to the vendor’s compliance, and ensures better data quality.
RPA bots can complete repetitive tasks in supplier onboarding to reduce data errors and ensure compliance. Some of these tasks include:
- Collecting and entering data from vendor’s records (e.g. PDFs, emails, contract details)
- Cross-checking vendor data with different resources.
- Identifying mismatches between processes and regulations in vendor’s records.
- Updating supplier data in the vendor management databases and software
- Sending notifications and emails to suppliers when contract is approved or when updates are available.
For more on RPA
To explore different automation use cases in the healthcare sector, read our comprehensive articles:
- RPA in Healthcare: Benefits, Use Cases & Case Studies
- Top 6 Use Cases & Examples of Chatbots in Healthcare
- Top 18 AI Applications, Use Cases, and Examples in Healthcare
To explore RPA in detail, download our in-depth whitepaper on the topic where we explain how RPA works, its implementation strategy, and its top use cases across different industries and business functions:
If you believe your business will benefit from an RPA or automation solution, check our data-driven list of RPA vendors, RPA consultants, and our automation hub to explore the different tools and their benefits.
And we can guide you through the process:
This article was drafted by former AIMultiple industry analyst Alamira Jouman Hajjar.
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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