We can no longer afford the costs of traditional, document-based content management in the pharmaceutical industry. We need pharma companies to prioritize content reuse and automation rather than manual, error-prone legacy processes.

We do not need pharma companies wasting time creating redundant content. It is a waste of resources to have medical writers copying and pasting content from previous documents to new documents. Or to have people scouring through hundreds of pages of content looking for one paragraph that needs to change due to feedback from SMEs or health authorities.

Where Pharma Companies Should Spend Time

Nobody wants pharma companies to rush the science. We need their full attention to detail and their commitment to rigorous, sound methodologies from the moment a drug is conceived all the way through the time a drug is retired.

Pharma companies should spend their time on valuable activities such as:

  • Pre-clinical research, from synthesizing drugs through years of laboratory testing
  • Clinical trials, which can take six or more years to get through
  • Post-marketing observation and analysis, studying the newly approved drug in its real-world usage and making decisions based on the results

New drugs must be safe and effective. They must be manufactured with quality and consistency. They must be labeled, described, and marketed in ways that health care professionals and patients can understand.

Where Pharma Companies Should Save Time

Pharma organizations are not in the business of documenting manufacturing processes, educating people, or publishing content. They are in the business of making drugs. All the publishing, educating, and documenting happens in support of their primary business.

There are several key areas in the content lifecycle where pharma companies could save time.

  • Content development
  • Content assembly
  • Combining data and content
  • Content review and approval
  • Content submission
  • Content management
  • Content delivery

How Pharma Companies Can Save Time

Pharma companies can save time throughout the content lifecycle by adopting a component-based, structured content ecosystem.

A structured content ecosystem includes more than just new software. The structured content ecosystem also includes the following aspects:

  • Component-based content instead of monolithic documents
  • Content reuse instead of copy/paste/tweak
  • Automated content assembly, formatting, and publishing
  • Traceability of content and data from source to delivery
  • Integrated data and content
  • Streamlined workflows and processes
  • Commitment to content governance

The Stakes Are High

The challenge of streamlining the drug development process has brought pharmaceutical organizations and regulators together in various working groups to develop new digital solutions. These solutions target different areas of the drug development lifecycle, including clinical trial design, reporting clinical trial results, manufacturing the drugs, and labeling and packaging the drugs.

I’ve had the privilege of joining some of these discussions. I’m working with extremely smart people with a wide range of knowledge and experience in the life sciences. And I’m thrilled to see the growing awareness of the role that structured content can play in solving the challenges unique to the pharma industry.

Pharma companies need to reduce the amount of time it takes to bring new drugs to market. But this time reduction cannot come at the expense of people’s health or lives.

The only way to achieve their goal of creating safe, effective medicines in less time is to harness the power of content reuse and automation. They must prepare for the future of digital submissions and AI-based content generation. In short, pharma companies must adopt a component-based, structured content ecosystem now.

Content Rules, Inc. is one of the oldest and most established content strategy firms in the industry. Our content transformation methodology has been proven in life sciences over the past 20 years. Our content strategists are experienced with the unique challenges of pharma content, as well as the common content challenges that all enterprises face. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you solve your content challenges.

Regina Lynn Preciado