How Big Data Is Remodelling The Drug Industry

Copyright © DrugPatentWatch. Originally published at

When referring to “big data” in the context of the drug industry, one should essentially think of a collection of datasets with the help of which companies are able to easily identify, accumulate and evaluate information

The reason why it is called “big” data is that the concept implies a process that goes beyond the regular gathering of data, hinting at the massive size of the information collected. Naturally, the complexity of the datasets mirrors the complexity of the industry which makes use of them. 

That being said, when it comes to the drug industry, there is no shame in admitting that the amount of related data could readily overwhelm the average drug portfolio manager. In fact, in today’s world, a thorough analysis might just be an impossible task for one person alone given the abundance of knowledge and the lack of structure that usually accompanies it.

However, there is something to be said about the fact that data-driven decision-making has increasingly been incorporated into the biggest industries dominating the markets in the present.

How Big Data Is Being Used

With the continuous advances in technology and companies, regardless of their sizes insisting more and more on basing their strategies on cold hard facts, rather than on businessman’s intuition, the appeal for data-driven research and optimization has been experiencing constant growth

The approach is especially convenient in the cases of more complex business endeavors, such as the ones taking place within the drug industry, where available datasets vary in sizes and types

As for the sources behind these valuable pieces of information, they usually range from retailers, patients, caregivers, and they are even extracted from different stages of the R&D process. In turn, the documentation can vary from medical records to insurance claims to social media presence.

When it comes to the nature of the data, its value is determined by 3 important characteristics: 

  • it needs to be consistent
  • it needs to be reliable 
  • it needs to be coherent

If and only if these 3 basic conditions are in motion, the drug portfolio manager can begin to properly strategize the company’s next move.

When it comes to drug discovery, for instance, there are great amounts of time and resources involved in the process which indirectly, but massively, add to the prices of the final product. Simply put, the more time and money invested in the products, the higher the prices. 

In fact, anticipating that the investment in the development of a particular drug will not be returned in revenue often leads to the drug never even reaching the final stages of the development, let alone the markets.

Therefore, it is essential that companies take an active stance in the way they engage the data in order to improve the efficiency of their research and have a better chance at optimization. Implicitly, there are also being created new ways in which healthcare professionals can operate more effectively. 

The ultimate advantage of working with real-life collected data is that a thorough and up to date analysis can lead to identifying new usages for already existing products. It, thus, helps both patients and caregivers make better decisions.

It is essential that companies prioritize the information they receive, meaning that the most critical information would be addressed first so that benefits would be rapidly obtained. In this sense, attentive portfolio management becomes indispensable. The immediate consequence would be a speedy decision-making process in terms of tackling opportunities, putting together predictive algorithms and generally having a precise grasp on competitive information.

The Benefits Of Using Big Data In The Drug Industry

Having access to up-to-date extensive data that targets very specific sections of the drug industry will lead to companies being able to better put together predictions regarding how their products will do on the market. 

In fact, most often the success or failure of a product can be greatly estimated even before the launch. And that’s one of the big advantages of big data. Among the most common benefits of data-driven strategies in the drug industry are the following:

Reducing overall expense

In the presence of collected data, resources will have a clear path of investment and each step of the process will be justified with no efforts going to waste. Taking a risk is not a necessity when operating with real-life data. In this sense, for instance, a successful trial would be both faster and making use of smaller sample sizes, aspects which will be keeping the expenses low. In addition to this, not only the costs of drug discovery but also those of drug manufacturing end up being significantly lowered.

Decreased probability of dealing with a lawsuit

The better the grasp on thorough information a company has, the less it is probable for it to overlook certain issues that could otherwise lead to a lawsuit. Rushing to launch a product, for example, and skipping vital phases and processes related to preparing the entry of a drug on the market is more often than not the cause of a lawsuit. Having a look at how others have reached that unfortunate point could save your company from going through the same thing.

Targeting the relevant patient groups

Big data includes information related to multiple demographic aspects, getting as specific as detailing the genetic makeup of an individual. It is such preciseness that allows those who can access this information to make exact predictions about who it is that their drug will be appealing to best.


The 21st century has taught everyone that generally, in matters regarding finances, be it business or personal, budgeting is a necessary tool. However, within the drug industry, in particular, it constitutes a truly powerful instrument. 

Moreover, correctly informed budgeting can be a game-changing aspect determining where your company and its products are heading and can save your company from the fate of poor investment. Therefore, gathering the intel that informs this budgeting is fundamental to the longevity and the success the company has in the market.

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