By Mayur Danait, CIO, Lupin Limited
Mumbai based Lupin Ltd. (LUPIN.NS) (LUPIN.BO) is a transnational pharmaceutical company which is the second largest Indian pharmaceutical company by market capitalization. The current market cap of the company is Rs.65,971.69 Crore.
Leading players in the Indian Generics pharma industry have seen tremendous growth the last few years. We have seen organic entities of Indian players grow at a rapid pace in emerging and advanced markets. A lot of the growth has also been through acquisitions. What has got Indian pharma to this point might not necessarily take it further. Players will have to build technology expertise in newer areas to reinvent themselves as niche or specialty generics players. At the same time, regulatory pressure continues to build - patient safety is paramount, and regulatory bodies can only be expected to tighten the screws to ensure that.
What does all of this mean to the industry in general and the Information Technology function in particular?
The three core aspects of the business are developing drugs, getting the regulatory approvals and then manufacturing and bringing them to the customers. The following are the key areas where technology can be expected to make an impact.
Faster Time to Market, Better Systems to Manage New Drug Launches
There are opportunities for process automation, and data analytics in the R&D and Clinical trials functions. Simply making research data available in a corporate, searchable and secure repository yields significant productivity benefits. There is ample scope in designing the right level of analytics in R&D to help make key strategic decisions as well as develop new insights from existing available clinical data.
We see a lot of opportunity for technology to add value through the implementation of Project Portfolio Management tools to manage projects in R&D as well as the complex and uncertainty-ridden activities around a product launch.
Good Manufacturing Practices
Manufacturers will now be expected to maintain readiness for regulatory inspections at all times. This will inculcate a culture of following consistent, standardized practices across all processes. There will also be a drive towards minimizing manual entry on paper, and a reliance instead on acquiring data from machines through acquisition systems. It is on account of this that systems such as Manufacturing Execution Systems, or fully-automated Quality Assurance Management Systems have a central role to play in the assurance of product quality.
Drug Security and Authentication
A number of countries have enabled legislation in the interest of cleaning the drug supply chain of counterfeit products. An integrated solution for Track and Trace will require manufacturers to enhance the granularity of control on their packaging line, and also the technological capability to seamlessly exchange information with the rest of the network, including distributors, wholesalers, druggists and chemists. Lupin has been one of the pioneers in implementing SMS-based authentication systems catering to the domestic market.
Global Supply Chains
Pharma supply chains continue to get more global, and customer\'s needs and expectation of delivery are quite different across geographies. For generic drugs, there are often multiple manufacturers supplying the same product to the same customers. The key differentiator is service. Technology can play a major role in enabling a future-ready, globally integrated and responsive Supply Chain.
All of these themes have been our focus at Lupin. Lupin has implemented state-of-art IT system to support the Company\'s Global Supply Chain. Our company has deployed technologies to optimize Lupin\'s global network and critical applications infrastructure, as well as to make it resilient in the event of a disaster. We have re-modeled our SAP system for the India business, to position it for upcoming statutory changes such as GST and DTC. Lupin implemented Quality Assurance Management Systems, Warehousing, and Weighing and Dispensing systems at manufacturing locations to automate and improve compliance in key quality assurance processes.
In summary, we continue to invest in relevant solutions to ensure that we remain a truly scalable, technologically advanced, process integrated, IT enabled organization globally.