At Pediapharm, our mission is to improve the health and quality of children’s lives throughout Canada, and our partners in the pharma industry are critical to helping us achieve this goal.
Due to the complexity of the pharmaceutical industry, rarely is one company fully vertically integrated. Given the extensive regulatory requirements, launching a single product is both time-consuming and expensive. Thus, it’s imperative to be as efficient as possible at every opportunity. With a business model that focuses on the commercialization of products rather than on R&D, this creates a dependency on pharmaceutical partners with complementary expertise.
Pediapharm has built an international consortium of trusted pharmaceutical partners, from the U.S. to Spain to Finland, plus a host of consultants located throughout Canada and abroad. As a result, it’s vital to our business to create a seamless working environment to be able to maintain these relationships across multiple time zones.
If we were to try to manage these partnerships like we were managing a contract, the relationships would disintegrate, and business would grind to a halt. Every relationship must be an alliance with integrated processes. While each partner will have their approval process, metrics, and way of conducting business, the goal is to make interactions with our team as seamless as possible. Synergy is key to long-term business alliances.
Crucial to this synergy is trust, and several key factors go into building a trusting relationship. This include:
- Delivering on promises
Dependency on alliances is part of our DNA. The people who interact with our partners recognize the importance of managing those relationships throughout the complex integration process.
In a typical example that leads to a transaction, we scout for a product in a certain therapeutic area because we feel there’s a gap in our pipeline, and we want to have a certain class of product. Once we find one that has a strong profile, we approach the other company, and then we start courting each other. We have discussions about how we would work together and our capabilities. When there’s a bit more engagement, we start working on the product assessment in more details. Then there is a due-diligence process that is initiated, a detailed product review, and a commercial assessment. We discuss terms, financial structure, and timelines.
Once the deal is finalized, then the tricky part begins. We start to work with the regulatory agencies to get the product on the market. Consumers see a brand name on their prescription but have no idea how much background work goes into the process required to get the product into the hands of consumers.
The actual drug submission is an extremely complicated process. It has hundreds of files, which must go through several integrations to prepare for submission.
Data sharing is one of the key challenges. Specifically, each corporation has its way of storing documents, which means the systems will not be compatible on day one.
File security is also a concern. Keeping track of documents which keep changing, and providing access to those who require it while limiting those who don’t, can be a huge challenge.
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The Firmex Solution
Pediapharm selected Firmex, a leading solution provider for sharing large volumes of highly confidential documents because it is simple to use and requires little to no training.
The life cycle of a project can have a turnover of more than 40 people whose backgrounds range from production to sales. It is imperative that the method of data-sharing be intuitive, meaning anyone who can use a computer can also use the program.
Having the right tools is key to efficiency and eliminating errors. The Firmex virtual data room is essential to our success. Companies do not have to wait for us to send data via email. Instead, they have instant access to evolving documentation via the virtual data room. This way of exchanging documents means the documents are already there for the partners, and the data exchange is part of their communication process. This process also reduces errors by eliminating the risk of sending out-of-date material to folks working in different time zones.
It would create a backlog and possible errors in the process if partners had to wait for all documents to be sent via email. However, when partners can arrive at the office and the data is already there in a virtual storage room and available to all for uploading, then everyone can get right to work examining the issues and responding in real time. This type of data exchange is essential to our way of working and critical to our collaborative process.
The virtual data room allows pharma alliances to operate with an integrated process. While each partner still possesses its approval processes, metrics for progress, and other unique ways of conducting business, all interactions are made as seamless as possible with a superb data sharing software. We focus less on the process, more on the actual product of our work.
Firmex has increased our efficiency and plays an important part in maintaining our credibility and trust with our valued alliances.