Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is proactively delivering value in multiple sectors, with early adopters reaping the benefits of the technology and gaining early traction. Many companies are implementing RPA by establishing a clear framework, goals, and vision.
RPA tackles multiple menial administrative tasks that don't require human intervention and Pharma companies consist of many such processes that can easily be automated. The technology enables seamless collaboration across the supply chain and increases operational efficiency while reducing costs.
Moreover, the automation of time-consuming tasks enables employees to shift their efforts and focus to product development and faster services while improving customer satisfaction.
Here are the key processes in the Pharma industry that can easily be automated:
Accurate drug sales forecasting
Many times forecasting methods used by industries are futile for Pharma companies, especially when they don’t have a large sampling of historical data available for new products.
RPA software integrated with Artificial Intelligence (AI), enables future sales prediction accurately by automating processes related to data accumulation, observation, presentation, and proper implementation. This way the data from disparate sources that could not have been easily integrated (including legacy systems) with modern, cloud-based solutions, is quickly acquired and processed, enabling accurate drug sales forecasting.
Supply chain and inventory management
Automating multiple routine processes identified within the supply chain radically improves efficiency and brings down operation costs. RPA offers multiple benefits for Pharmaceutical companies worldwide, and the reason lies in the requirements as specified by The Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA), outlining steps to build a digital, interoperable system to identify and trail certain prescription drugs distributed globally.
Several operations can be automated within areas such as:
- Supply and demand planning
- Inventory management
- Returns and refunds processing
- Purchase order management
- Invoice management
With large amounts of data accumulated, stored, and probed, every improvement achieved through RPA brings fast ROI and strengthens the company's market position.
Optimizing supplier onboarding
Searching and onboarding new suppliers is crucial to Pharma companies, especially if the active ingredients for drugs that are sold are imported from another country.
The supplier onboarding process includes accumulating information required to set up a company as an approved vendor/supplier, being processed manually. The process additionally requires validation ensuring the potential supplier is compliant with corporate standards and industry regulations.
RPA speeds up the supplier onboarding process on many levels, including:
- Supplier research: RPA searches and lists potential candidates based on predetermined conditions.
- Approval and invite: When a candidate is accepted by the user, the software automatically creates and sends invites.
- Supplier registration: The RPA bots review data provided by the supplier, complete a pass/fail assessment, and update the status.
- Finance/supplier activation: Following activation (automated or manual) RPA creates a vendor master in ERP and sends relevant data to other systems if required.
Rebate and chargeback processing
According to Health Industry Insights report, it is estimated that Pharmaceutical companies jointly lose more than $15 billion in revenue in the bottom-line due to misuse of copay benefits, duplicate rebates, and chargeback abuse.
A key consideration for investigating suspicious rebates, chargebacks, and sales is access to clean and consistent data, and RPA is the perfect solution assuring required transparency and accuracy. With RPA implementation, data from multiple sources are gathered, stored, and easily accessible, assuring proper implementation with cross-comparable formatting.
There are various obligatory steps to use rebate validation and payment process such as:
- Reviewing claim details data
- Collecting PBM (Pharmacy Business Management)-rebate invoices
- Validating claims
- Paying approved claims
- Specifying the reason for rejection of invalid claims
- Returning claims to the PBM
Frequently in each of those steps, there is a high potential of identifying some manual tasks and automating them, speeding up the overall process while mitigating risks related to mistakes in data accumulation and processing.
RPA is proving to be a compelling technology for automating manual processes in the Pharma sector. By streamlining supply chain processes, optimizing supplier onboarding and generating accurate sales forecasts, RPA helps Pharma companies to radically improve efficiency and reduce costs.
Explore the possibilities of RPA in the Pharma industry with an RPA solutions specialist to gain competitive advantage. Today!