AstraZeneca experiences significant sales growth due to introduction of new drugs
The pharmaceutical manufacturer, AstraZeneca, has seen considerable sales growth due to the increased demand in its new drugs during the third quarter, Reuters reports.
With sales rising 8% in constant currencies, shares in the group increased 2% in early trading on Thursday (8 November).
Since 2012, AstraZeneca has experienced a significant reduction in patents on older drugs, however, with the implantation of 10 new medicines, has seen a growth of 85% during the last quarter.
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The medicines include Imfinzi and Tagrisso which can be used for lung cancer, Fasenra to treat severe asthma and Lynparza for ovarian cancer.
The firm also hopes for success for Farxiga, which can be used to help diabetes and reduce heart risks with the drugmaker predicting years of continued improvement for its medicines.
China has seen a 32% increase in the quarter with AstraZeneca continuing to beat competitors in the world’s second biggest drugs market.
Chief Executive, Pascal Soriot, said: “Today marks an important day for the future of AstraZeneca, with the performance in the quarter and year to date showing what we expect will be the start of a period of sustained growth for years to come.”
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.