The pharmacy industry is going through enormous changes, both technological and regulation related, and one of the major ones is the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).

The industry is currently running against the deadline to comply with the Act, which stipulates that an electronic database be created to identify and trace the disruption of prescription drugs in the US and a licensing system be implemented. The pharmacy industry so far had relied on the legacy and paper-based solutions to handle distribution—resulting in data-silo.

The pharmacy industry is treading on its discovery journey to maintain a balance between innovation and regulations, and cloud technologies can help them achieve this aim.

Product tracking in the pharmaceutical industry is shifting to cloud-based automated tools, which is reducing the need for human interference, thus bringing efficiency. Automated tools combined with IoT devices are automating supply chain tracking, inventory management, and serialization.

The pharmacy industry has a pool of genomic data, and the data set is set to double every 8 months. In the past ten years, the Broad Institute alone has generated 70 petabytes of genomic data from 100,000 genomes. Cloud and ERP combined can provide a better solution to the data sets; it adds the ability to scale large data sets with added AI and machine learning models.

Having legacy solutions for data access and sharing implies that information is not available across departments, and employees usually suffer in the process with respect to tracking the location of crucial documents. Igloo, a SaaS technology development company, stated that 43% of their employees avoided sharing a document with colleagues as it was difficult to find or believed it would take too long. Cloud technologies can make data more accessible and sharable.

Though cloud technology will ease data sharing, security can be a challenge as most of the pharmacy professionals are still using legacy solutions. Training and strategizing the cloud implementation will be the next major challenge for the pharmacy industry.