Accelerating drug R&D while minimizing costs

Is any industry immune from the need to ‘do more with less’? Even pharmaceutical companies – often highly profitable businesses – have increasingly adopted this mindset.

According to data published by Deloitte’s Centre for Health Solutions, the pharmaceutical industry has seen a continued decline in R&D returns over the last year. The report cited the reasons for this decrease as a rise in development costs and greater downward pressure on drug pricing.

Deloitte’s report suggests ways pharma companies can prepare for new R&D initiatives. These include:

  1. Focusing on a strong disease or therapeutic area
  2. Streamlining internal decision-making processes
  3. Simplifying the use of data

For R&D teams, data (and its ease of use) is central to success. Regardless whether that data is internal or external, structured or unstructured, information management and informatics professionals are constantly looking for ways to extract value from content. To help, start asking these key questions:

What is the value of your R&D content?

Across data and information generated internally, what of these proves most crucial to advancing your R&D efforts, and is this content prioritized accordingly? From external content sources, including published journal content, what metrics are you collecting?

Do you have a handle on the way content is being used in your organization and the value it brings?

For example, usage metrics may report on the number of times your users accessed a particular journal. Value metrics can measure the impact of content usage on business initiatives, recognizing that even minimal usage can yield an important research discovery.

How does your organization consume content?

Consider the ways in which your R&D teams consume content, and the potentially untapped ways in which you might extract value. Your researchers are familiar with the traditional workflow of manual content discovery, access, and knowledge synthesis. Can you expand this workflow to include not just human content consumption, but also machine analysis?

Are you delivering content seamlessly?

There are so many different types of content, it can be difficult to know where to start. R&D professionals struggle to stay current on disparate content streams, including externally published literature, clinical trials, competitor research briefs, patents, and more. The best way to solve this problem is to combine these different content types so end users can access them seamlessly.

This is a concept that brings us neatly back to a Deloitte recommendation: Focus on one therapeutic area and you’ll naturally have fewer problems connecting those data points.

A complementary way to solve the problem is to unify content streams with semantic enrichment, so the different concepts are more easily linked. But to do this successfully, you need the right tools.

Keep Learning: 

Learn more about Copyright Clearance Center’s data solutions for life sciences companies.


Author: Mike Iarrobino

Mike Iarrobino is CCC's product manager for content and rights workflow solutions RightFind® XML for Mining and RightFind Music. He has previously managed marketing technology and content discovery products at FreshAddress, Inc., and HCPro, Inc. He speaks at webinars and conferences on the topics of content discovery and data management, and loves to get into conversations about the nature of free will.
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