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Digitization in the Pharma Industry: A Step Towards a Sustainable Future

Digitization in the Pharma Industry: A Step Towards a Sustainable Future

The world has been ravaged by the far-reaching impacts of the Pandemic. The Coronavirus, a SARS COV- 2 Virus whose place of origin has been attributed to a food market in Wuhan, China with the first recorded case in December 2019, has killed millions of people around the globe. Three countries have been impacted the most in the United States of America, China and India. 

Although India was initially lagging behind on account of positivity contraction rate and death count, owing to the massive population the country possesses, India has become the hotbed of infection hotspots with close to 1 crore people already affected.

Although the recovery rate for India has been close to 80%, the massive surge in infection till now is only a minuscule percentage of India's population. With Corona spreading through public contact, the Central and the State Governments have imposed strict phased lockdowns with all economic activities coming to a complete standstill. That has impacted the average workforce in a country like India where almost a significant quantum of corporate employees has become unemployed. 

The sectors which could have availed of the Work from Home facility like Information Technology have encouraged their employees to restrict themselves to their accommodations and work from there.

One sector which has assumed a tremendous amount of importance in this Pandemic scenario is Pharmaceutical and Healthcare. This has become the basic component of safety in such a precarious health condition disrupting regular life to a sizable extent. In order to cope with the radical changes that have come about in physical interactions and workplace environments, Pharma companies have opted for digitization. Major pharmaceutical companies have focused on improving their supply wing and have thus intended to bring about rapid changes in their distribution techniques and procedures.

With digitization in the pharma industry, the application of technology has increased considerably. With that in mind, customers can book their own requirements of medicine directly from applications on their mobile phones. This system is known as Personal Order Booking (POB). 

This enables consumers to book their medicine directly from the retailers who are available online and the transaction money is exchanged over the internet through the means of the online payment platform. At times the retailer also allows the facility of cash on delivery for the prospective customers.

POB has several advantages, the most important of which is that it provides seamless communication between the designated seller and the prospective buyer. Moreover, it advances the trading and distribution channel thereby ensuring the opportunity of choice for the consumers. The consumers can look for themselves before selecting the kind of medicines that they are ordering and in what quantity.

The companies have majorly focused on improving their retail supply distribution channel through online cloud computing means or through rationing middleman who tends to delay the inevitable process of delivery. Two firms that have acted as the crucial proponents of consumer healthcare services are O4S and AIOCD AWACS.

O4S had its inception in 2016 as a Startup Organization focused on the delivery of pharmaceutical services from the manufacturer to the retailer. Through their scalar chain, the modular network primarily based on computer information systems and software technologies they have rationalized the supply chain and have brought about efficiency in the operative mechanism. O4S has worked in collaboration with some of the biggest pharmaceutical conglomerates in the form of AstraZeneca and Zydus Cadila.

O4S has recently penetrated into the Pharma market even more with the launch of the new application Gynger. It is an online digitized trading platform that establishes a relationship between the seller and the buyer community. 

The company inaugurated ‘Gynger’ to ensure that the brands and manufacturers not only adopt a data-driven approach for planning as well as executing trade promotions but improve the effectiveness of their trade promotion and distribution strategy measures as well. 

Now the companies can easily enhance, modify, and analyze their promotional schemes based on the effectiveness, thereby, appropriately incentivizing their methodologies to increase the quantum of their sales value.

A basic area that has troubled the delivery of Pharmaceutical equipment is logistic issues and the lack of adequate physical supply mechanisms in order to transport the goods from the manufacturers to the retailers and ultimately to the consumers. The companies have been using different systems and there has been a lack of uniformity in the process. 

While the primary networks have used Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), the secondary and the tertiary networks have used Distribution Management Systems (DMS). Moreover, another area where the companies have focused is to stop the circulation of counterfeit goods and unethical items which are not standardized according to the industry norms and practices.

AIOCD AWACS, however, has positioned itself as an information provider. Through the development of its POB application, it will be able to provide all kinds of pharmaceutical-related information to the dashboard of the user. The user can then access the requisite files and can streamline the entire process through a bottom-up or top-down approach.

Conclusion

With the Entry of billionaire corporate houses like Reliance Industries and Amazon Inc. into the distribution retail model, there is bound to be increased competition in the market. The situation is indicative of the fact that there are healthy growth prospects for Pharmaceutical Industries in the future Digitization sphere.

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