Digital transformation in Pharma companies: advantages and case study 


La trasformazione digitale delle aziende farmaceutiche
  1. Digital transformation and Pharma 4.0
  2. Why digital transformation is important for pharmaceutical companies
  3. The pathway to digitalization in Pharma: a digital mindset can change everything
  4. Digital transformation: a Pharma company case study
  5. Polk&Union is a strategic partner for the digital transformation of pharmaceutical companies

Digital transformation is changing the Pharma sector, with great prospects for innovation and advantages for companies. 

Digital transformation and Pharma

Adapting strategies and digital elements to the pharmaceutical and Healthcare industry: this is Pharma 4.0, an operating model borrowed from Industry 4.0 and defined by the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE).

Digital transformation, ingrained into the complex Pharma world and its rules, is one of the cornerstones of this model, which involves different internal aspects of companies (processes, resources, organization, general mindset) as one, to leverage the full potential of digitalization to provide innovative and increasingly performing solutions that will improve people’s health and well-being.

According to ISPE, «Pharma 4.0 is not a must, but a competitive advantage», and considering that a revolution is underway, its absence could represent a “business risk“.

Why digital transformation is important for pharmaceutical companies

In Pharma, digital transformation concerns not only aspects of research, production and distribution, but also involves internal processes and workflows and how health companies relate to their target (patients and healthcare professionals).

The following are four advantages of digital transformation for Pharma companies, also found in marketing and communication:

1. Efficiency increase

Thanks to digital technologies (AI, automation, big data), decision-making processes can be streamlined and expedited in various areas, from R&D to marketing, relying on more agile and dynamic structures, platforms and teams.

2. Data-driven information leverage

The advantages of digital transformation certainly include the possibility of controlling large amounts of data, essential to define increasingly effective strategies by applying performance monitoring. Moreover, digitalization itself promotes efficient and accurate data collection.

3. Improve target audience definition and engagement 

Digital marketing tools allow to address the reference audience with growing accuracy and personalization and engage them by means of relevant content, in compliance with the rules of health communication.

4. Strengthen internal communication and digital skills

Digital transformation revolutionizes pharmaceutical companies from within, starting from the communication between the individual members of each department. With proper training and the right tools, people can unlock an important potential.

Looking to the future is the mainspring of digital innovation. It is not a cost, but rather an investment that requires constant attention to always be ready for changes in the sector, from technologies to the needs of the public.

The pathway to digitalization in Pharma: a digital mindset can change everything

To embark on the path of digital transformation in Pharma, it is essential that the company should have the right environment and culture to accept this challenge and foster it over time. In fact, change results not only from a more agile work organization, but above all from people: including managers as well as single team members.

Adaptation, training, cooperation: these are three essential steps to building a successful digital transformation in any company.

Digitalization in pharmaceutical companies is also achieved through gradual progression, which ought to consider people’s habits and mindset, especially in a highly regulated industry like Pharma, with its various and necessary internal verification and approval steps.

Introducing new work tools without training is a risk that no company can afford to take. In fact, training is an essential part of the pathway to digital transformation and well-structured programs are needed to involve teams on increasingly complex and challenging projects. 

Digitalization also makes it possible to overcome difficulties and barriers and promotes teamwork. For there to be collaboration, it is necessary to abandon the “watertight compartment” vision that prevents different departments and roles from interacting with each other. A cohesive and culturally open group is the key to tackling new business models and scenarios.

To learn more, you can also read: Healthcare marketing: 5 trends to follow in 2022

Digital transformation: a Pharma company case study

Polk&Union developed a digital innovation project for an important Pharma multinational starting from a training program built from scratch and customized to specific internal needs.

The path was divided into four phases, which first involved team members in the adoption and use of new tools and then tested them, to pragmatically implement the various steps of a project in the digital marketing and communication field.

After the first training phase, the teams that took part in the digital training program participated in the development of three innovative ideas from which they could design new projects, one of which was then implemented.

Learn more about projects developed by the Polk&Union Health division

Polk&Union is a strategic partner for the digital transformation of pharmaceutical companies

Since 2007, Polk&Union has contributed to the digital transition process of various companies in the health sector. With Polk&Union Health, the division dedicated to Healthcare and Pharma customers, we offer digital marketing and digital innovation services: analysis, strategy, production and distribution of ideas and creative contents.

If you need a partner for your business that will help you exploit the digitalization potential, contact us.