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Patients’ needs around the world sound pretty simple: they need best therapy outcomes, the right drugs and devices at the right time, and the costs to be covered by payers or at least be affordable.

The truth is that fulfilling these needs is challenging for the life sciences industry. Complexities include:

  • Long, complicated, and costly research cycles for new drugs and devices that can slow availability of better therapies that improve patient outcomes
  • Disjointed global supply chain and manufacturing processes for drugs and devices that can delay delivery of high-quality products to patients
  • Inability to communicate consistently to all segments from wholesaler to physician across channels, slowing the time to value for drugs or devices used in therapies


Moving forward, life sciences companies must analyze genomic, proteomic, scientific, and other data in real time, collaborate with research partners effectively, align demand and supply efficiently, establish global process and quality standards, and provide a unique customer experience to the entire target market and ecosystem. To achieve this as quickly as possible, simplifying processes wherever possible will be the first step.

But simple is not easy! How can life sciences companies fight complexity? The following areas are the best starting points on the journey to simplification:

  • Increase R&D productivity by analyzing Big Data in real time to drive personalized medicine
  • Streamline sourcing and procurement by using business networks to collaborate with third parties
  • Ensure traceability of drugs and devices through automated and accountable processes
  • Achieve operational excellence by harmonizing inside and outside manufacturing and by minimizing risk through predictive analytics
  • Consistently demonstrate product and services differentiators to payers, patients, physicians, and caregivers through one easy-to-use platform available across channels


These examples show that running more simply enables life sciences companies to achieve benefits such as accelerated growth rates, optimized spend and working capital, compliance across the enterprise, and increased market share and customer loyalty. Life sciences companies can also accelerate  integration processes after M&A and maximize shareholder value by using flexible and real-time analytics on one single platform across the enterprise.

Simplification is not just a bold idea; it is becoming real across the industry. Here are some successes of first movers: Medtronic has accelerated global complaint handling and global sales processes significantly, MKI analyzes genomes quickly, Himedia Laboratories generates reports fast, and Roche Diabetes Care facilitates personalized health management.

These are just a few of many best practices in the dynamic life sciences market. What are your observations and greatest stories? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment area, and discuss with us on twitter @Sap_Healthcare!