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Technology is drug firms future


12 February, 2010  

Pharmaceutical companies have turned to technology to convince governments and insurers their products are cost-effective and produce results, according to a report.

The industry’s future will see collaborations between drug firms and computing and telecoms businesses to create devices which monitor patients in real time, said professional services advisor Ernst & Young.

Some companies have already teamed up with non-traditional partners, such as Novartis’ $24 million (£15 million) deal with US-based firm Proteus Biomedical to create “smart pills”. These will monitor vital signs and check patients are following prescription instructions by transmitting information from inside the body.

Other firms tap into the popularity of new technology, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Lifescan unit harnessing the power of Apple iPhone applications to let diabetic users connect their blood glucose monitors and upload readings.

Bayer has joined forces with Nintendo to encourage diabetic children to test their blood sugar regularly, by connecting its glucometer to handheld game consoles.

Patrick Flochel, Ernst & Young life sciences leader for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, told Reuters: “We will see multiple types of collaborations in future.

“This movement will be driven by a focus on outcomes, which pharma companies are more and more having to commit themselves to.”

Copyright Press Association 2010
Ernst & Young Report