Pharma / Healthcare used to be lagging behind other industry sectors with respect to AI adoption. However it is the industry sector who accelerated most in terms of AI investments post-Covid  (source: McKinsey “The State of AI” 2019 & 2020, and Agalio-INSEAD-Earlymetrics “Accelerating AI Adoption in Pharma” May 2020)

Global-survey-The-state-of-AI-in-2020.pdf (

Up to now, most Pharma AI use cases are in the R&D area. The R&D function quickly embraced AI as way to improve R&D productivity and decrease cost. It is also a function that tends to be more Global by structure than other functions.

We have seen fewer use cases downstream the value chain (Medico-Marketing-Market Access, Sales & KAM, Market Research-BI-CI…).

We can make hypotheses for why AI has not really translated yet big way into commercial applications:

  • Local initiatives launched by Country Brand Teams that were not scaled up globally – also related to marketing people fast rotation in Pharma companies
  • Less understanding and support to AI by senior commercial management (buzz-word perception of AI, no clear vizualization of potential productivity or cost gains…)

However, we observe that a few Pharma companies have been exploring AI initiatives in the commercial space:

  • Support to sales forecasting (E.G. mentioned by Novartis’ CEO Vas Narasimhan in a Linkedin video interview)
  • Automated real-time dynamic re-sectorisation of Field Teams
  • Automatization of customer segmentation & targeting
  • Insights generation for Patient Journey mapping aggregating structured data (IQVIA, VEEVA, ad-hoc MR…) and unstructured data (EG discussion reports or social network listening analyzed by Natural Language Processing…)

The purpose of our study is to:

  • Identify the use cases
  • Identify what worked or not and why. What were the revenue, productivity and cost gain ranges for successful projects.
  • Identify drivers and barriers
  • Have a specific focus on the role of Leadership / Senior Management and Capabilities -> one hypothesis that we would like to validate is that successful AI implementation is not only a question of tools & technology, but also relates to mindset, culture and leadership

Amgen Europe & International Region, Janssen France & Europe Region, Astra Zeneca Global + EuCan Region, UCB Global, Astellas France, MSD France, Biogen France, IQVIA France & HoganLovells are participating in the study. All participating companies will have access to our white paper. We will also publish an academic abstract mentioning the participating organizations.

Please contact us if you want to take part in the research!