TCS Report Calls For More IT Spending By Pharma Cos

New Delhi, September 23: | Updated: Sep 24 2003, 05:30am hrs
A report by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has projected the information technology (IT) spending by pharma companies to be going up only six per cent this year. The total spend last year was Rs 114 crore by 12 leading companies surveyed. TCS feels greater use of IT can take drug development time and costs down, enabling domestic pharma be more competitive in the gloabl market.

The report, titled TCS Pharma CIO Report, was released in New Delhi on Tuesday by Kiran Karnik, president, Nasscom. The report has highlighted some of the imminent changes to be faced by the pharma industry in the coming years. These include a shift from process to a products patents regime post-2005, increased global competition for generics and new drugs as Indian companies compete on the world stage, need to control costs, diminishing returns on investments in sales force and handling an increased number of drugs with increased research targets available post-genomic revolution.

The report also says that to emerge stronger following such changes, the industry needs to ensure it embraces and extends IT best practices throughout its value chain. These include electronic data capture, online patient recruitment and chemical databases at the clinical trials and drug development stage. Manufacturing could use IT for production planning and quality control while field force functions could be automated at the sales and distribution stage.

TCSs global life sciences and healthcare practic director J Rajagopal said, Such applications can accelerate time-to-market, time-to-volume and time-to-market penetration. All of this will further lead to accelerating return on investment (ROI). The report has highlighted some of the concerns of the respondents that act as roadblocks to higher IT adoption. Primary impediments include slow technology adoption, concerns about information security and costs of IT initiatives.