How Digitisation Helps Formulation Companies

Aakash Ahuja
2 min readMar 31, 2022
Digitisation for drug formulation companies

Drug formulation has come a long way. From days when formulation used to be an in-house activity for all pharma companies, today most formulation is conducted by companies specializing in R&D and formulation development while the pharma companies take care of the wider business aspects.

The industry has grown leaps and bounds too over the years. Segments like pet care, men’s personal care have come to the fore, and demand for specialized products is finding its takers. 10 years ago, who would have thought FMCG companies would be competing to market the best beard oil.

While one would be tempted to think of formulation as a separate vertical altogether, in many ways it parallels conventional manufacturing at a modest scale and faces the same challenges.

For example, consider the fact that an end-to-end contract formulation project may involve finding what chemical ingredients will constitute what proportions to make the next best moisturizing cream, and how the packaging should look.

If the cream is to be sold in Germany, what regulatory compliances impact the product, and accordingly. And since a finished product is as compliant as the raw materials used, which ones meet the European compliances.

Managing raw material inventory used in-house by the chemists as they work to finish the best possible product, iterating repeatedly, and keeping track of all findings, observations, lab test results is a task described as tedious at best.

There is a big margin of error in all of them. Plus there are costs involved in making small mistakes.

No wonder companies specializing in building pharma software have been catering to this area for a long long time, however, they come with prohibitive costs. And since mostly this will be a cloud-based software, there are chances its modules may not align with the protocols used by the formulation teams.

An easy alternative will be to have software developed according to the formulation team’s requirements. If done properly, this option not only saves money but provides security and flexibility of a cloud-based solution whose customization truly allows them to bring efficiency and save costs.

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