Thursday, 21 November 2013 16:40

Life sciences ‘reignites’ IT spending says market watcher

By
Life sciences, Wikimedia Life sciences, Wikimedia

Changing market conditions and regulatory requirements are driving the life sciences industry to “reignite IT spending” after years of little or no growth, according to a global report just released.

In its latest ICT Enterprise Insights report on the life sciences industry, market analysts Ovum forecast that IT spend by the industry globally will reach US$40.8billion by 2017, with priority areas for investment over the next 18 months to include clinical trials, supply chain, business intelligence (BI) and analytics.

The Ovum survey reveals that 60% of life sciences respondents see clinical research IT as a top-three priority in the next 18 months, while 30%  see it as the biggest concern in the drug lifecycle due to the competitive advantage it can bring in improving the efficiency and productivity of drug development.

Andrew Brosnan, senior analyst at Ovum, says that the introduction of track-and-trace regulation in 2015 and 2016 is extending the current emphasis on data management to include the supply chain, with more than 50% of respondents planning to aggressively increase (by 6% of more), their spend on supply chain technologies by the end of 2014.

“The industry is facing significant challenges that necessitate an evolution in how it conducts business. It is entering a low-margin environment as a result of factors such as loss of patent protection, lack of new medications, and greater thresholds for commercialisation of new medicines,” Brosnan said.

According to Brosnan, the survey findings also indicate the beginning of an investment cycle for US pharma in BI and analytics, as companies see it as an effective means to improve efficiency and productivity.

Brosnan says survey revealed that the majority of respondents will be investing in new installations for enterprise performance management (65 %), predictive analytics (43%), and query tools (57%), while 70% will be transforming their existing data management and integration technical resources.

“These survey results reflect how the larger trends within the industry are affecting pharma IT investment in the US, such as outcome-based reimbursement plans, lower operating margins, mandatory price cuts, and personalized medicine. These factors are driving the pharma industry to glean more insight from large and more diverse data sets to drive down the cost of drug discovery and development.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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