Pharma IT spend is on the rise

Corporate pressure stemming from depleted product pipelines and sales declines is driving IT adoption at life sciences companies, with the goals of process streamlining and R&D productivity gains. But some IT execs still have a bad taste in their mouths from IT odysseys that have failed to deliver.

Nonetheless, life sciences spending on IT is rising--projected to reach $17 billion this year--as companies explore ways to address critical and fundamental issues, says Ruchi Mallya, pharmaceutical technology analyst at Ovum. Such issues include the cost of maintaining paper-based systems for clinical trial reporting, with expenses "upwards of $500,000" for correcting data-entry mistakes alone. She also cites the cost of reconciling data from siloed departments that use different automation systems in an environment lacking information-sharing standards.

Silo-busting has become a common theme among trial-automation solution providers. It's more than just a systems integration issue. Data freed from silos can be combined and presented in many ways and at many levels, bringing grass-roots analytics to corporate planning.

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