Digital Revolution : Digitalization Pharmacy in Distribution

GudangIlmuFarmasi (English Ed.) – The digital revolution is well under way for pharma companies. These digital revolution continues to transform healthcare fundamentally, and many people believe that tipping point is finally reach. Pharm companies are entering to the market and existing players had to up to their game acrossing marketing, sales and operations.

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Digital Revolution

Today’s society has become accustomed to the rapid flow of information from social media, and they continue to follow the development of digital technology through digitalization

The supply chain is a series of largely discrete, siloed steps taken through marketing, product development, manufacturing and distribution, and finally into the hands of the customer (patient). This network will depend on a number of key technologies; integrated planning and execution systems, logistic visibility, autonomous logistics, smart procurement and warehousing, spare parts management and advanced analytics.

The goal of digital supply chain is ambitious, to build an altogether new kind of supply network that’s both resilient and responsive. Thus, pharma companies can put together these pieces into a coherent and fully transparent whole will gain huge advantage in customer service, flexibility, efficiency and cost reduction

Digitalization provide a platform for wholesales to promote their item and have good competition. Driving the transformation to the smart supply chain are two tightly intertwined trends. On one hand, new technologies like big data analytics, the cloud, and the Internet of things are pushing into the market. Usually it talked about distribution platform relationship between doctor, dentist and pharmacist. Is like more exacting expectations on the part of consumers, employees, and business partners are pulling companies to develop more reliable and responsive supply chains especially pharma companies under the legal registration.

Through the apps and media, there can linked pharma companies and wholesaler, doctor to pharma companies or either dentist to pharma companies to get  a better pricing compete to others companies. Through the apps and media, can provide the medicines to the customer (patient) which are registered through the secure apps to fulfill the customer (patient) expectation. Currently digital technology or better knows as digitalization has changed life a lot, and one of the benefits it presents is access to information in real-time.The availability of real-time information helps to make effective and accurate decisions in a short time. The health-care market especially in the pharmaceutical industry,it is one among many industries that utilizes real-time data analysis, for example to improve customer experience in getting health services at critical moments in their lives.

This makes health-care institutions need to think far ahead in order to continue to meet the higher expectations of consumers. The availability of real-time information has helped to increase public awareness of health in general, as well as health and health-care insurance, especially now when the government is actively implementing the national health insurance program (BPJS Kesehatan) in the Republic of Indonesia. Digital technology helps health providers by providing the right tools to meet market demands and help them develop innovative services. As a result, the health industry in Indonesia has grown rapidly, and hospitals have sprung up to accommodate an increasing population.The role of digital technology in the health-care industry can be seen in many ways. For example, to help synchronize patient data in a variety of hospital care services, or provide access to patient medical records to health practitioners, to determine the scope of services they need to provide. This ensures that physicians can use the information in real-time to provide appropriate recommendations for patients.

Documented medical records are clearly useful for patients who need to be referred or transferred to another hospital. By having patient data that can be accessed online, as long as there is a hospital internet connection can access this data from various locations. By storing data on the Cloud and accessible to authorized parties not only ensures the quality of customer service, but also reduces unnecessary actions, thereby increasing efficiency for the medical profession as a whole.In addition to data collection, health equipment is now ready to support digital technology, especially in outpatient processes, where certain data such as body weight, body temperature, heart rate monitoring, and radio graphic results can be delivered in real-time with the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) that connect devices with Cloud. Another benefit of digital technology for health services is the speed of service as well as data that is more complete and more secure. Patients no longer need to carry medical records in physical form. As a precaution, health institutions also need routine network maintenance to protect their systems from cyber attacks or malware threats that can destroy and destroy important data.

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One example of successful digitization in the health-care industry can be seen in the leading pharmaceutical company, Dexa Medica, which produces multivitamins and drugs. As one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Indonesia, Dexa Medica has many branch offices and outlets. The company has challenges in managing and overseeing branch offices. Dexa Medica is one of Telkomtelstra’s Managed Network Services (MNS) service customers, who can enjoy the benefits of practicality and business excellence through Infinity portal service management where they can access and monitor every aspect of services and infrastructure that provide information on the performance of each office branch of this pharmaceutical company in real time. With this service, Dexa Medica can monitor product availability in all branches / regions, so that consumers no longer have trouble getting products / medicines. Thanks to this solution, Dexa Medica can increase its business potential and operational productivity so that it can focus more on serving customers without having to worry about the performance of its branch office.

In conclusion, digital technology brings many benefits to the health-care industry, and with the right approach, it is not difficult to adopt technology to meet consumer needs. However, it should also be remembered that basically what consumers want is the speed of service and practicality. It is important to understand both of these factors, and with the right network service providers, companies will be able to leverage digital technology

Types of Digitalization

  1. Search engine optimization:

Nowadays, search engine like Google, Yahoo, MSN/Bing have become a useful way for providing health information to internet users of all ages. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a way to manipulated the search ranks which resulting in better search rank on Google or other search engines. SEO become an important opportunity for a organization to reach their target audiences. Important aspect of search engine  optimization  are keyword  usage  in  titles  and URLs,  internal  links  on  your own  website,  backlinks from other websites, proper use of alt tags with images, and social network activi-ty.(HSW  Solutions, 2017)

  1. Social Media Marketing:

Social media marketing like Facebook shares, retweets and +1s on Google aid  enable direct connection of the company with its consumers. It improves the brand’s values and strengthen reputation of the organisation. The negative experiences  in  a public forum  can  be turned  around  by providing  the  updates from company website and encourage discussion. (THP Creative Group, 2013)

  1. Pay Per Click Ads

Pay-per-click, or PCC adds is an alternative marketing way for the company website isn’t having enough traffic. It depend on keyword that are used by searcher on Google.  The company will only  pay if  anyone has clicked on the link of the add. (THP Creative Group, 2013)

  1. Email Newsletter

Email Newsletter is a direct channel preferred by consumers for daily use for marketing communications.  Through survey, most of the consumers prefer receiving permission-based marketing communications through email, compared to social channels and text messaging. It is because email provides consumers the feeling  of  control  and personalization in which they can opt into a relationship and  then  follow  through  by  providing  them  with  the information only which they wish to receive(ExactTarget, 2012).

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Current Scenario and Challenge

As India continues to be a force in the international market, the industry needs to constantly invest in developing its global R & D capabilities and developing a strong and sophisticated CRAMS segment.

India’s pharmaceutical industry is one of the most respected sectors in emerging countries and one of the most sought after sectors from a global cooperation perspective. With a strong macroeconomic and socio-economic base, the “driver” element is deeply rooted within the pharmaceutical industry in India and has not been intimidated by speed savers such as the quality problems facing some recent Indian companies.

India’s pharmaceutical industry provides a lot of optimistic information. In 2005, the industry was only 6 billion U.S. dollars. The market size in 2012 has been expanded to 18 billion U.S. dollars at a CAGR of 17%. The sector is expected to grow to 45 billion U.S. dollars by 2020. Even in the most pessimistic scenario, by 2020 the sector is expected to be the sixth largest in the world in terms of absolute size.

The industry benefits from a variety of domestic and international drivers. Domestically, the sales of generic drugs are expected to increase, with strong double-digit growth of 13-14%, growth of 13-14%, continued growth of chronic treatment and penetration of rural markets in 2013 to 13-14%. Favorable factors, such as an increase in affordability resulting from an increase in per capita income and a higher prevalence of insurance, are also major growth drivers.

Exports continue to make a significant contribution to the development of the industry. Key and developed markets like the United States are driving the growth of the generic drug market. The forthcoming US $ 148 billion patent pending is expected to prompt an export-oriented Indian generic drug company. In addition to the developed markets, Indian pharmaceutical companies also have strong influence in the fast-growing semi-regulated markets such as Russia, South Africa and Latin America.  In contrast to other industries, the recent depreciation of the rupee is a positive development as export-oriented pharmaceutical companies expect to be able to deliver the rupiah better each dollar they sell.  Recently in India, the coalition’s cabinet has proposed changes to the FIPB policy. If approved, the revised proposal states that 25% of investments must be approved for R & D activities and only 49% of FDI will be allowed by the government if these projects involve rare facilities and key vertical industries. The government’s main concern is the high presence of Indian TNCs that will have a negative impact on the supply and affordability of generic drugs in India.  However, if the Indian pharmaceutical industry is to be taken into account, the social threat assumed by the government seems unfounded.

A major feature of the Indian Pharmaceutical industry is its very fragmented nature. The largest domestic market shareholders hold about 7% of the Indian market, while the top 10 companies account for about 40% of the market. On the other hand, India has universal technology penetration of up to 99% and provides equal opportunities for companies of all sizes

In the past decade, various events have contributed to the excellence of the pharmaceutical industry. One of the main factors is the entry and exit strategic move by Indian and multinational pharmaceutical companies. In the past ten years, almost 45 inbound transactions have taken place, of which more than 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in inward transactions exceeded $ 150 billion. Over the same period, there were over 60 foreign deals, 22 of which exceeded 50 million U.S. dollars. This is a clear sign that Indian pharmaceutical companies are aggressively seeking growth in both India and international markets, and investors backing the deals deserve support, not frustration. India will have to absorb Western technological capabilities and knowledge, especially in the manufacturing and new drug delivery systems. Strong international cooperation and partnership will ensure that India continues to self-transform by providing more value-added products to the global market.

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Technology is not the only solution but it must be also used in the regular work process flow. Few strategies that the pharmaceutical companies can adopt in order to increase the opportunities in digitalization era.

Strategies that can be implemented:

  1. Collaborative business model

Digital technologies provides great potential for almost limitless collaboration. The collaborators can efficiently and effectively research and develop new therapies.

  1. Business partners

Partnering with companies which address complimentary aspects of a given disease.

  1. Introduce mobile apps

Apps delivered in via mobile phones in a go helps better understanding of patients regarding their diagnoses and medications prior to discharge. Complete details of any medication can be mentioned in the apps which allows better direct to consumer marketing.

  1. Sharing data for population studies

Large data collected overtime tends to be useless unless good analysis is performed on it. The results associated with data should be brought out.

  1. Create a new organisational structure for digital marketing

Appoint an e-marketing strategy manager, e-marketing product manager, digital marketing committee, etc. which can help to drive innovation on the digital marketing of the company and build digital strategies

6.Ensure IT support

Adequate IT support is needed in order to provide solution to any digital marketing issues.

  1. Patient and Health Care Provider (HCP) services

Pharmaceutical companies to provide technology-based services that can help patients monitor and manage their health.

Future Scope

The pharmaceutical companies will in future highly adapt to digitalization and develop extensive connectivity, data analysis and collaboration. Digital shall soon become the backbone of pharmaceutical industry, provided they develop proper marketing strategies and implement them. The patients and health care teams would provide the communication platform for brands. The traditional one way relationship in our healthcare system will soon change to two way relationship exclusively with help of digitalization on this sector . Mobile marketing, social media and other forms of digital marketing will lead to creation of valuable channels enabling patients to exchange information

Digitization has the potential to fundamentally transform pharma operations, opening the door to step-change improvements in performance. Pharma companies should get started on this journey, taking immediate steps to digitize their operations and supply chains and develop a strategy and road map for the next three to fve years. Those companies that seize the initiative can give themselves a sustainable competitive advantage; operate with greater agility, cost-efciency, and control; and ultimately provide better care for patients.

Authors : Maisarah, Afiq, Mary, Mandeep, Jackie, Johnny


Hedley Rees. 2011. Supply Chain Management In Drug Industry: Delivery Patient Value For Pharmaceutical And       Biologics. John Wiley & Sons, United States.

Parekh, D., Kapupara, P., & Shah, K, 2016,. Digital Pharmaceutical Marketing: A Review. Research Journal of           Pharmacy and Technology, 9(1), 108-112.

THP Creative Group. 2013. Types of Digital Marketing. Available from:     marketing/ [accessed Dec 22 2017].

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