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As constant change and reaction to new developments is at its very core, the need to embrace new ideas and modes of working is essential to the existence of the pharmaceutical industry.
Some major trends are emerging that are altering and could impact strongly on the way the industry works in the coming years.
3D printed drugs
When the U.S. Food and Drink Administration (FDA) approved the first 3D printed drug in 2015, the pharmaceutical industry prepared itself for one of the biggest shifts in its history. With the move comes all manner of possibilities, not least of which is the furthering of the notion of personalised medicine. Sizes, doses and appearance can be altered easily, with the potential to make pills look less daunting by using bright colours and designs. Drugs could also be manufactured more locally, even by pharmacies themselves, reducing transportation and distribution costs.
Personalisation of medicine
While not a new idea, personalised medicine looks set to increase in importance in the coming years. New possibilities in tailoring to the individual are being ushered in by developments such as data and informatics, genome sequencing, and fitness technology. In the case of the latter, the ability to record and analyse individual data quickly and cheaply will drive progress in catering for the exact type of medication suitable for the patient.
Concerns around prices
As in any industry, pricing is a constant concern to the pharmaceutical world, and is playing a large part in shaping the way the industry works. Amid accusation of over-charging lies a move towards tougher price restraints being imposed by many countries, a trend which is sure to continue. As companies look to impose their own price restrictions, in an attempt to avoid stricter restrictions, transparency is also becoming more widespread – something which could lead to innovations in the way that pharmaceutical organisations attempt to retain their profit levels.
Analytics and data
Collecting data has been imperative to the pharmaceutical industry for a long time. Developing new products, demonstrating effectiveness, making adjustments to safety all benefit hugely from the large levels of accumulated information. Predictive and prescriptive analytics could push this area further however, allowing trends to be anticipated, new interpretations to be made and new connections established. The end result of this is the possibility of significant breakthroughs in the areas of research and efficiency, as well as in sales and marketing spheres.
Artificial Intelligence
Essential to research and development is an embracing of artificial intelligence and the potential for its use in discovering new products. With the vast amount of money and time invested in developing new drugs, the use of AI can prove invaluable simply in being able to read reviews, compute and analyse the details of research papers needed . Help can be provided in the areas of understanding disease and the testing of products. It can provide a solid link between the experience of the patient, the data available and the subsequent personalisation of service. Access to services specifically tailored to the individual can be made possible through AI, and as a result behaviour and habits can be monitored.
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EIA – Laboratório de Metrologia e Aviónicos

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