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Life Sciences Industry Will Reignite IT Spending

Published: Nov 20,2013

(Melbourne) 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 Ovum’s ICT Enterprise Insights. The global analysts forecast that IT spend by the life sciences industry will reach US$40.8bn by 2017, with priority areas for investment over the next 18 months to include clinical trials, supply chain, business intelligence (BI), and analytics.

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In the largest survey of senior IT executives ever conducted – Ovum’s ICT Enterprise Insights – the global analysts reveal that 60 percent of life sciences respondents see clinical research IT as a top-three priority in the next 18 months, while 30 percent see it as the biggest concern in the drug lifecycle thanks to the competitive advantage it can bring in improving the efficiency and productivity of drug development. Meanwhile, the introduction of track-and-trace regulation in 2015 and 2016 is extending the current emphasis on data management to include the supply chain: more than 50 percent of respondents plan to aggressively increase (by 6 percent 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 commercialization of new medicines,” explains Andrew Brosnan, senior analyst at Ovum.

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. The majority of respondents will be investing in new installations for enterprise performance management (65 percent), predictive analytics (43 percent), and query tools (57 percent), and 70 percent 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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