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The aspiration to be at the forefront of innovation is at the core of Teva Pharmaceuticals the world’s largest generic pharmaceutical company. In order to continue to integrate innovation, quality and accessibility to the patients and communities served, Teva leadership has made the critical strategic decision to harness global technological developments to provide solutions beyond producing and selling medicines.
"Teva is structured like a mosaic of a multitude of companies; thus, information systems play a critical role in ensuring the ability to run the company efficiently"
As Teva CEO, Erez Vigodman frequently emphasizes, “Companies that do not know how to adapt to the revolutionary period in which we find ourselves today, will remain behind and may even become obsolete. Our largest competitors in the future are those that we have not yet met.”
Guy Hadari, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer at Teva, leads Teva’s digital preparedness efforts. With over 30 years in the industry, Hadari set out to accomplish two missions. The first being digital preparedness enterprise wide, which supports the expansion of the connection between Teva’s medicines and the patient, and the second is to effectively lead the Teva’s Technology Division at Teva, which implements information solutions along Teva’s value chain and ensures a technologically advanced working environment for Teva employees.
The rapid acquisition rate affected the company’s ability to invest in internal integration. According to Hadari, the task he faces is to support the integration by consolidating information systems globally. He claims, “Teva is structured like a mosaic of a multitude of companies; thus, information systems play a critical role in ensuring the ability to run the company efficiently.”
“Three years ago,” Hadari adds, “the company made the decision to build an information highway by building global systems that standardize the company’s business processes. Building the system was intended to foster smarter and more efficient management of the business. To this end, we designed IT architecture to support the entire value chain in the company, starting from production, supply chain and quality control, through research and development and HR management and on to sales and personal service to the customer. This mission is critical in light of the speed of change taking place around the world.”
“In parallel with the systemic organization, we launched a project aimed at assessing world trends in innovation and the connection between healthcare and technology.” “The healthcare industry is undergoing change,” explains Hadari. “The patient is becoming an informed consumer with numerous opportunities to ’shop around.’ Therefore, as a pharma company that produces products, we must adopt technology capabilities for the benefit of business and offer solutions that go beyond chemical intervention.
“An example of a solution is incorporating technology into devices to follow-up with patients, such as an inhaler for treating asthma and other respiratory problems. Adding a sensor to the inhaler will report real-time data to doctors and include information such as whether the patient does indeed take the mediations prescribed and how frequently. This allows the doctor to improve patients’ treatment or alert him or her to a deterioration that requires medical intervention.”
At Teva, considerable resources are being invested in technology and they are locating biotech companies or researchers from academia in order to find the ‘next thing.’ “The ability to analyze huge amounts of information wisely will become a significant advantage,” says Hadari. “Our competitors will not necessarily hail from the same field. If we do not know how to employ forces, we will be at risk.
“Future direction of technology in pharma primarily lies with cooperation with all aspects of technology bodies, such as our venture with Philips to establish a technology incubator. We understand that today the ecosystem is changing. We are learning how to manage cooperation correctly and how to build structured work.
“Additionally, we are examining how to produce a platform on which we can transfer accumulated data from the said sensor and analyze it to gain valuable information. To this end, we are speaking with a variety of organizations such as Philips, IBM and Google.”
Regarding Philips, it is necessary to also reference Sanara Ventures Ltd. a joint investment platform of Teva and Philips in which Sanara will provide financing and support to Israeli companies for medical technology and medical devices at early stages of development, in the fields of digital medicine, disease management, follow-up and sensors, image-guided minimally invasive treatment, drug delivery and combinations of drugs and devices.
Sanara’s strategy is to invest in a wide range of innovative medical technologies that will influence both medical systems and medical and disease situations in the health service world that has been undergoing dramatic change in the past years. At Sanara they assume that additional investment will be made by the end of the year, with emphasis on the prudent building of the companies in these early stages.