Access to Medicine

Embracing Digital Transformation to Bridge the Global Access to Medicine Gap


As the world's population continues to grow, projected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, the demand for essential healthcare services is on the rise. According to the World Bank and World Health Organization, half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services. Pharmaceutical companies have a unique role in bridging this gap, as they can develop urgently needed health products and improve their availability across socioeconomic and geographic divides.


Leading pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, GSK and Novartis are increasingly embedding access-to-medicine strategies into their business practices. Digital transformation in pharma is crucial in this endeavor, as it helps improve the efficiency and visibility of drug and vaccine manufacture. Digital technologies such as industrial AI, advanced analytics and modern Process Analytical Technology (PAT) can optimize drug design, streamline production processes and ultimately make medicine more available and affordable in low- and middle-income countries.


Improving Access to Medicine through Digitalization


Digital workflows powered by industrial data can help pharmaceutical manufacturers improve drug design and address distribution challenges in underserved areas. Industrial digital transformation enables pharma companies to make informed decisions throughout the drug development process by providing more visibility and insights across the pharma value chain.


Modern PAT in pharma, for example, supports quality by design principles and process analytics, allowing manufacturers to monitor critical quality and performance attributes to ensure final product quality in a compliant environment. In another example, predictive maintenance gives pharma companies sufficient warning that a piece of equipment is degrading. As a result, they can take action before a costly breakdown occurs or avoid taking equipment offline for scheduled maintenance that may not be needed.


Digital technologies like PAT can also help accommodate and reduct risk for distribution variables, improving global medicine access. By integrating these technologies into their processes, pharmaceutical companies can thoughtfully consider factors such as manufacturing location, shipping costs, administration requirements and local clinic accessibility before developing and distributing new drugs.


Uniting Efficiency and Visibility in Pharma Manufacturing

Pharmaceutical companies striving to improve their access strategies should start early in development. By using digital solutions to design drugs with manufacturability in mind, efficiencies can be embedded into the manufacturing process early on, and these companies can minimize business risk and create a scalable framework for their access strategies in the future.

As the global demand for medicine increases, pharmaceutical companies must rise to the challenge of creating a more sustainable future. Operational efficiency and visibility brought on by industrial digital transformation can help improve how these companies contribute to equitable access and availability of medicine around the world.

The more efficiencies that are gained, the quicker and more cost-effectively a drug can be commercialized. When production is leaner, there are fewer faulty batches, quicker time to market, and overall reduced production cost. According to McKinsey, companies show an estimated 70% improvement in overall equipment effectiveness with the use of artificial intelligence in pharma. Naturally, this can have a trickle-down effect on pharma's ability to make medicine more available and less expensive without sacrificing quality or safety standards.


There is certainly no easy or "one size fits all" solution to how pharmaceutical companies can better contribute to global medicine access. But for those that are prioritizing access-to-medicine strategies as a top business priority or initiative, digitalization is a viable path to turn to. Digitalization solutions are already improving the efficiency and visibility of drug and vaccine manufacture, and it could also help pharma companies improve their access strategies in remote areas of the world.


Working With AspenTech

AspenTech supports access to medicine through its expertise as a leading software partner, focused on optimizing asset performance and optimizing asset lifecycle. In complex industrial environments, where streamlining the asset design, asset operation and asset maintenance lifecycle is critical, AspenTech's solutions empower pharmaceutical companies to maximize efficiency and productivity. By combining their extensive process modeling experience with cutting-edge machine learning technology,


AspenTech has created a purpose-built software platform that automates knowledge work, ultimately driving a sustainable competitive advantage and significant returns throughout the asset lifecycle. This enables organizations in asset-intensive sectors, such as advanced manufacturing in pharma, to enhance uptime and push the boundaries of performance, operating their assets with increased safety, sustainability, longevity and speed, ultimately contributing to improved global access to essential medicines.



How does digital transformation in pharma improve access to medicine?


Industrial digital transformation improves access to medicine by optimizing manufacturing processes, enhancing drug and process design and providing greater visibility into the value chain. This enables pharmaceutical companies to make informed decisions throughout the drug development process, ultimately making medicine more available and affordable in low- and middle-income countries.


What digital technologies can help optimize drug design and manufacturing processes?


Modeling and simulation, advanced analytics and modern Process Analytical Technology (PAT) are just a few examples of digital technologies that can optimize drug design and manufacturing processes. These technologies provide valuable insights and enable more efficient, data-driven decision-making throughout the product lifecycle.


What are the benefits of industrial digital transformation for pharmaceutical companies?


Digitalization offers several benefits for pharmaceutical companies, including increased operational efficiency, improved drug design, faster time to market and enhanced visibility across the entire supply chain. By leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence, advanced analytics and cloud computing, pharmaceutical companies can optimize their processes, reduce costs and ultimately improve access to medicines for patients worldwide.


How can digitalization improve access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries?


By streamlining production and leveraging data-driven insights, digital transformation in pharma can help companies optimize their strategies in low- and middle-income countries where access to medical treatment is critically needed but challenging to achieve. Digitalization allows for better decision-making around drug development, manufacturing, shipping and administration in remote areas, ultimately increasing access to medicine for underserved populations.