InfoCenter Update: AI Week Recap

August 31, 2023

By Porzio Life Sciences

Welcome to ‘AI Week’… the following InfoCenters are focused on how Artificial Intelligence impacts the Pharmaceutical Industry.

The Potential of AI

The pandemic introduced severe limitations on pharmaceutical sales representatives’ ability to visit healthcare facilities, prompting a reimagining of sales tactics and forcing the pharmaceutical sales industry to adapt and innovate rapidly. Remote meetings and virtual engagement became integral to pharmaceutical selling, transforming how Representatives interact with Healthcare Providers (“HCPs”). 

The shift towards virtual engagement also emphasized the importance of “pull” models, where HCPs actively seek information alongside traditional “push” tactics. As a result, the exploration of artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-powered tools, such as CRM robots, have emerged as potential solutions to address complex queries and deliver critical information to HCPs. These AI tools have the potential to bridge the gap between sales reps and HCPs, providing valuable insights and information that can facilitate better patient care.

In the wake of the pandemic, chat, text, video, and email messaging grew popular, enabling longer and more in-depth interactions between Representatives and HCPs. Patients and HCPS alike began to value digital engagement more, demanding up-to-date information and fostering a need for innovative communication methods. The evolving landscape of physician, hospital, and patient needs led to different levels of Representative engagement. Representatives transitioned from solely in-person interactions to incorporating HCPs preferred digital channels, with the most effective Representatives building deep connections through a blend of in-person and digital touchpoints.

The potential of AI to enhance engagement and provide real-time intelligence on scientific developments holds significant promise. However, despite the potential, there has been a lack of successful AI integrations in the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical companies find themselves at a crossroads. 

Looking beyond the pandemic, the future of pharmaceutical sales could involve the integration of AI, data analytics, digital channels, and content to engage practitioners and patients effectively. The use of AI-powered technologies, such as generative AI platforms, could empower Representatives to answer unique business questions, communicate relevant information, and maintain compliance and accuracy. 

The potential of AI and digital technologies to improve patient outcomes is evident. While the industry faces challenges in integrating AI successfully, the transformative impact of these technologies on pharmaceutical sales is becoming increasingly clear.

AI as a Game Changer

According to a recent article in Pharmaceutical Executive magazine, Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming a game-changer in the pharmaceutical industry, specifically in sales and marketing functions. AI technologies are being utilized to identify potential drug targets, expedite drug discovery, and ensure effective drugs reach the appropriate patients. As a result, the interest in AI from pharmaceutical organizations is growing, and the projected spending on AI in the industry is expected to reach $3 billion by 2025. AI is being incorporated into different parts of the pharmaceutical business, including the scientific processes, marketing, sales, and business development. Nevertheless, challenges still exist in incorporating AI into routine processes in a scalable and repeatable manner.

AI is transforming the commercialization process by providing pharmaceutical companies with detailed information for targeted communication with doctors, caregivers, and patients. It allows for more efficient and precise outreach to physicians, enabling the identification of specific practices with patients who can benefit from certain drugs. AI also allows more personalized marketing efforts and helps ensure medication adherence by providing comprehensive and digestible information to patients. Additionally, AI is crucial in monitoring real-world evidence, allowing for comprehensive and efficient tracking of medication performance in the commercial market. Overall, AI is set to become a standard tool for the pharmaceutical industry, transforming science and improving the efficacy of life-saving drugs.

Building Confidence With AI

Like computers, Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) is developing rapidly across all industries, and its impact will be transformative. A company aims to have its technology and business logic work together. “Terminology” is one of the most significant hurdles between disciplines. The following ideas may help to build confidence within a company as AI becomes more prevalent:

•    Develop teams that include many disciplines.
•    Create a glossary of shared terms.
•    Work out minor problems as a team.
•    Not to develop and isolate an AI team focused on its key performance indicators (KPIs). 

Companies must not forget that learning to use AI is an important skill set in the modern digital world. Though there’s still a healthy level of skepticism, AI may bring innovations that might not have been discovered for years, decades—or perhaps at all.



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