Ferrer: AI and Digital Transformation in the Pharmaceutical Industry

  • Reference: SM-1726-E

  • Year: 2021

  • Number of pages: 22

  • Geographic Setting: España, Global

  • Publication Date: Nov 2, 2022

  • Source: IESE (España)

  • Type of Document: Case

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In spring 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic spread throughout the world. Most nations started implementing severe restrictions on personal mobility and business operations. In Spain, access to hospitals was restricted to protect healthcare professionals from contagion. As a result, Spanish pharma companies lost access to their main sales channels: visits to doctors and hospital managers. Ferrer, the largest Spanish pharmaceutical company, responded by developing a digital interface to keep the channel alive. However, what arose out of necessity soon became part of Ferrer's strategy. This case reviews Ferrer's ambitious plan to carry out a complete digital transformation of its commercial operations in Spain, the challenges it faces, and all the opportunities for optimizing the existing business and even possibly creating new business models. The case concludes by putting forward the key decisions that Ferrer's executive team now faces: What is the best way to organize digital assets and processes inside the company? How should this transformation be scaled up to the entire corporation? What is the best way to measure the effects of digitalization in the company?


health care and treatment Innovation pharma Strategic innovations