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Indian pharma gives impetus to technology as it propels efficiency in supply chain and inventory tracking

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Tuesday, June 14, 2022, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Indian pharma is giving an impetus to digital technology. The sector covering research, manufacture and retailing sees technology to propel efficiency across its gamut of services.

According to Satish Manchala, founder and managing director, MedleyMed, the global anguish of the Covid-19 wave has built repercussions which continue to prevail. The pandemic has disrupted pharma and healthcare sectors globally and the impact is being witnessed in India too. The way in which businesses were conducted has seen a massive change as technology kicks in.

Pharma sector has witnessed fluctuating progress and expects major changes in the delivery of healthcare including medicines, diagnostics and practice by doctors. The rise of technology driven e:commerce models is one key indicator that will seek to drive efficiencies across the system, he added.

To tap new business service models like e-pharmacy, virtual consultation, and diagnostics, Indian pharma and healthcare have made efforts to rapidly adopt technology and digitalise their operations across various verticals.

To this end, MedleyMed is a B2B digital supply chain network platform that provides real-time pricing and availability of pharmacy products to its platform users. It offers insights into business operations leading to optimal operating metrics for supply and demand.

We have seen that a tech-centric approach has immense advantages of convenience, time and cost saving.  For instance, medicine order can be placed from one’s smartphone with contact less delivery as for many access can be tough to a physical pharmacy store, he said.

In the pharma industry too, digitalisation helps in streamlining the entire operations both at the back-end and in improving efficiencies.  In pharma retail, there is faster access to latest inventory, information on supply chain management, quick decision making, reach far-flung markets. In addition, there is scope to offer generic medicines which are comparatively affordable alternatives to branded versions.

Digitalisation is also giving a fillip to pharma distributors who can display real-time inventory, which helps improving delivery schedules and get better sales margins. Further, online transactions save both time and money. These advantages can be used to reach tier 2, 3 cities, which hitherto has been dominated by unorganized players. Moreover, the barriers between hospitals, doctors, pharmacies and patients can be efficiently addressed. All these can be leveraged to enable universal access to healthcare. While customers will benefit with minimised costing, healthcare players can improve their bottom lines, noted the MedleyMed chief.

E-pharmacies open up a window of opportunities for brick and mortar pharmacies on the business sphere, it also gives scope for entrepreneurs to devise a model that helps in reducing working capital, overheads while broadening their customer base and increase margins. Overall, the efforts can result in cost advantage to consumers.  Therefore, the pharmaceutical sector continues to give an impetus to digital technology to boost medicine marketing and supply chain management, stated Manchala.


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