Robotic process automation (RPA) is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to automate routine, rules-based processes using complex “if, then, else” statements. Through this automation, business users are able to dedicate more time, energy, and resources to higher-value tasks. This increasing trend of life sciences companies including artificial intelligence in their strategic roadmap was highlighted as one of the top life sciences trends of 2018.
Although some pharmaceutical companies are investing in RPA in the drug development process, generics companies should focus their robotic process automation investments in operational improvements. Generics companies can leverage new advancements in AI, such as RPA, to drive value within their business operations. For generics manufacturers, the use of RPA can help reduce operational costs – an increasing expectation of regulators, lawmakers, and patients as a means for further reducing drug costs.
Generics manufacturers currently rely on manual processes for much of the data gathering and analysis in their business. Using RPA, manufacturing, contract manufacturing (CMOs), and contract resource organizations (CROs) can replace these manual, repetitive tasks inherent to clinical data management and pharmacovigilance.
Robotic process automation provides a fast, secure, and traceable ways for these companies to complete these recurring tasks, including entering data, checking data quality, monitoring and submitting data to regulators. In this instance, RPA further benefits a generics manufacturer as it mitigates the risk for human error, a leading citation by the FDA, in gathering and submitting data. RPA also shows a lot of promise in finance and accounting functions. There is significant potential for generics companies to leverage RPA software to automate supplier onboarding, market intelligence, contract terms, master data maintenance, and reporting.
What separates RPA from other automation solutions is that it can be easily integrated into existing technology infrastructures. The RPA solutions reside in the cloud or through other on-premise applications and don’t require changes to underlying systems or databases.
RPA can also be executed automatically with no need for human monitoring. Many RPA solutions even incorporate drag and drop functionality that removes the need for coding, programming, or advanced technical skills. Unlike many AI advancements, the adaptability intrinsic to RPA mitigates the typical “last-mile integration” challenges.
RPA can help generic drug manufactures with mission-critical goals – increasing profit margins by reducing costs, improving quality control, and maintaining regulatory compliance. Enabling robotic process automation success in your organization will require development of a value-driven business case, expertise in business processes and change management, and strong understanding of the enterprise’s technology landscape. To learn more about other ways your business can leverage RPA or how Clarkston can help your business adopt RPA, subscribe to our insights below or contact us.