02 Jun

How Pharma Companies Are Using the Cloud

Data silos, collaboration challenges, intellectual property protection and compliance concerns affect organizations of every size across the globe. While some industries can afford a more laid-back approach, pharmaceutical companies must meet exacting standards on every rung of the supply chain ladder.

Pharmaceutical supply chains have become more complex than in the past because drug manufacturers are transferring their operations to contract manufacturing and development organizations. PharmTech’s Agnes Shanley explains that sharing inventory and manufacturing data would have previously necessitated a complicated IT project and middleware. But today with cloud computing, software as a service (SaaS) and the pharma industry’s increasing comfort with technology, it is easier to share information from several databases that hold different forms of data.

According to an Insight Pharma Reports Market Study, nearly half of pharmaceutical manufacturers surveyed are either evaluating or currently using some form of cloud-based infrastructure. For example, InhibOx relies on Amazon Web Services for its computational resources and extensible storage space. The company reports saving hundreds of thousands of dollars and enjoys a scalability of resources that easily accommodate its fluctuating computational power needs. 

Some pharma companies elect to start small and integrate cloud-based solutions into one or two specific areas of the supply chain. WebEx Cloud-Meeting Center, for instance, fosters better collaboration among research, development and life science teams by facilitating live virtual meetings and nearly eliminating the need for long email chains. In the regulation-heavy world of pharmaceutical manufacturing, a cloud productivity suite like Microsoft Office 365 for Health Care provides a HIPAA-compliant platform for email, document and workflow management.

While cloud computing is a demonstrably efficient way to meet the challenges pharmaceutical companies face, its real value lies in its security and cost efficiency. Cloud infrastructure simply can’t be beat for keeping pharma supply chains running smoothly so organizations can focus on research, development and patient-care solutions.

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