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Trends 2024: The role of artificial intelligence in drug commercialization

Onisim Gabrian, Director of Product Management, Policy, Access, Value, and Evidence; Ally Robert, Associate Director, Policy, Access, Value, and Evidence; Gary Lyons, Chief Transformation Officer, Medical; Jeffrey D. Erb, Chief Media Officer; Binish Khan, Vice President, Digital Experience Technology; Geoff Thorne, Chief Technology Officer; and Sarah Alwardt, US President, Policy, Access, Value, and Evidence | 2/12/2024

As artificial intelligence (AI) rapidly transforms healthcare, our experts explore its pivotal role in biopharmaceutical commercialization. From personalized patient interactions to predictive analytics, discover how AI is reshaping the healthcare landscape and the challenges that lie ahead.

AI is prevalent across industries and has immense potential and countless applications to improve processes and experiences. With a clear trajectory of growth in both its application and impact, AI is poised to disrupt and define the healthcare landscape in 2024.

Biopharmaceutical companies have already started to leverage AI in research and development to identify novel targets, map the epidemiology of diseases, optimize clinical trial recruitment, and sort through data. The rapidly growing interest in this area is exemplified by the number of partnerships between AI companies and biopharmaceutical organizations in the last year. For example, in January 2024, Novartis and Eli Lilly and Company agreed to pay Isomorphic Labs $82.5 million upfront to use its AlphaFold technology to find and design new small molecules. Additionally, several biopharma companies, including Amgen and Genentech, inked partnerships with trillion-dollar company Nvidia last year to leverage its generative drug discovery AI cloud service, BioNeMo.

While many businesses have been ramping up their investment in AI technology to accelerate drug discovery, most biopharmaceutical companies are only beginning to examine the role AI can play in the product commercialization journey. But as AI tools become faster and more reliable, use cases are rapidly emerging to help organizations meet their commercial goals, drive communication and relevance, and faster improve patient lives.

We spoke to our experts at Avalere Health to shed light on four ways AI can be used across the product lifecycle to transform the commercialization of therapies and technologies. Read on to learn about the risks and the opportunities across HEOR, medical affairs, and omnichannel marketing.

1. AI adoption in Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR)

Recent research conducted by Avalere Health into how top-20 biopharmaceutical companies are leveraging AI to optimize market access activities found that organizations are using the technology in a number of ways:

  • To predict pricing
  • To maximize the effective use of real-world evidence
  • To prepare for regulatory decisions and reimbursement
  • To identify key customers and optimize engagement

However, in landscapes characterized by increasing competition, regulatory uncertainty, payer pressures, and rising patient expectations, there is a significant opportunity to leverage the technology for further innovation. AI can drive efficiency across market access and HEOR processes, support successful product launches and streamline patient access to innovative medicines. As Onisim Gabrian, Director of Product Management (Policy, Access, Value, and Evidence) at Avalere Health, says: “For me, the sweet spot for generative AI is where the human effort to achieve the desired result is high, while the validation to check the plausibility or correctness of the result is easy. There is a wealth of opportunities to achieve this in HEOR and market access.”

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