Looking to the future: how pharmaceutical businesses are changing

All industries have evolved substantially in the past few decades. The rate of evolution is at rocket-speed compared to centuries past, and it’s all thanks to the advent of the computer. 

With this invention, the Internet became possible and complex computations could be calculated in a second.

The computer brought the global community together, and it now fits in our pockets. It birthed automation and convenience to a scale never before seen.

It has changed businesses all around the world, and the pharmaceutical industry is not exempt.

Both the biotech side of the pharmaceutical industry and the pharmacy side of the industry are evolving to provide a cheaper, more streamlined experience. The advancements have brought new medication to the market and straight to the doors of those in need.

Today we look at how the pharmaceutical industry is changing, and what future changes you can expect from this global and ever so critical industry:


Automation and digital computation have reduced the bumps on the road of research and development to a few minor potholes over the years. Many studies have noted how the industry has succeeded in smoothing out its challenges and improved its business model over the years, from adopting lean management to, more recently, merging with other companies and including the use of machine learning.


Globalisation has made it easier for companies to outsource than ever before. This ability to outsource and collaborate has allowed companies to work together to provide a greater service around the world. Regulation will still limit the flow of medication – as it should – but with companies working together on a global scale, lifesaving medication has a better chance of being offered in pharmacies around the world.

Digital Pharmacies

One of the biggest shifts we expect to see the pharmaceutical business to take is towards a digital model. Today patients have to visit the pharmacy in person in order to get their prescription – a task that can be quite difficult when competing with other responsibilities, like work or children.

With digital pharmacies, patients will be able to request a refill on their prescription to be reviewed by a GP. Some medications, like birth control, are easy to renew and can be done through the NHS. The NHS, however, does not offer this option with all types of medications. That is where pharmacy websites come into play.

There are a variety of pharmacies offering a digital model. SimplyMeds is one of the UK online pharmacies that work with all UK based subscribers. Its model is simple. You simply pick which treatment you want and add them to your basket. When you checkout you are asked a few basic questions that you could expect from your GP. It’s entirely confidential. Once your application is reviewed, you will be offered a prescription that can be sent directly to your door.

Getting people the medicine they need and freeing up the UK’s public healthcare sector may well be the way forward for the medical industry.


The reason why these online pharmaceutical options can operate is because an increasing number of biotech companies are entering the virtual sphere. These companies are even merging to create a more extensive portfolio of offerings. This competitive market makes it easier for online pharmacies to offer subscriptions to their patients.

These collaborations and mergers are done in the bid to reduce the cost of bringing drugs from development into the market. It also allows for these companies to adopt single-use-systems.

Adoption of Single-Use Systems

Single-use systems, in this case, mean that the business in question oversees the entire production and research process, whereas before there might have been multiple companies along the research and development line.

This adoption of single-use systems means that pharmaceutical companies can maintain tight regulations and maintain high quality. This simplification of the supply chain in the biotech industries means a traceable, more efficient system that benefits patients from a variety of medication offered to online pharmacies.

Blockchain Technologies

Blockchain might be tied up with cryptocurrency at the moment, but industries around the world are looking into how it can be used within their sector. From voting to the healthcare industry, blockchain has many possibilities. For the pharmaceutical industry, it means that a patient will be able to share information securely without worry about data breaches. Pharmacies, in turn, can rest assured that you and only you are the patient that they are dealing with.

Delivery of Subscriptions

Online pharmacies mean that delivery will be the prime method of obtaining your medication. This is a very secure method, and with discreet packaging which means that those who need medication for delicate conditions can get the help they need. If they were previously suffering from their condition because they were too nervous or embarrassed to visit the doctor, and then the pharmacist, they can now circumvent both issues and deal with an online portal and a discreet delivery.

Digital Doctors

Digital doctors are being trialed. What this means is that computers will be the first point of contact. A patient could put in their symptoms to be reviewed. The computer will then offer suggestions based on these symptoms, including requesting that you visit a doctor in person.

The pharmaceutical business is changing, but so too are the biotech companies and the healthcare institutions. They are all working together to create a better system that is more cost-effective and yet still provides exceptional value to patients.

The biggest trend that pharmaceutical companies will follow is the adoption of virtual tools to provide better value to more patients, all without overloading their physical stores. If patients can get the medication that they need directly, on time, to their door, there is less risk of missed doses. The convenience also means that those with busy schedules who often work while a pharmacy is open can actually get the medication they need without taking time off of work or making time on their weekends.