Why is pharmaceutical documentation stuck in the dark ages of desktop publishing?

It’s an interesting juxtaposition; people working in Life Sciences and the drug documentation lifecycle might be on the cusp of a scientific life-changing breakthrough yet they are still using desktop publishing programs like Microsoft Word that have not substantially changed since the 1980’s.

From the copying and pasting of thousands of paragraphs to challenges incurred in a non-transparent process, traditional medical authorship is inefficient, error prone and at the end of the day, more costly than it needs to be. So why are we still using programs that weren’t designed for this type of documentation?

Many Life Sciences authors have an aversion to adopting new technologies. Perhaps it’s due to poor experiences resulting from failed implementations, complicated user interfaces or leaving their comfort zone. From a company’s perspective launching a new technology can mean hours and hours of training, additional resourcing to maintain existing technologies during the transition, and more time to dial in for the specific needs of the organization, only to revert back to the old way of doing things after users fail to adopt the new technology.

In the drug development lifecycle, documentation is costly and time consuming, especially for those still using programs like Word for publishing. For starters, documentation accounts for nearly a quarter of drug development costs, (and those range from $314 million to $2.8 billion). Structured component authoring (SCA) offers an alternative to desktop publishing by replacing time-consuming manual copying and pasting with reusable approved blocks of content across documents to improve the speed, accuracy and costs associated with pharmaceutical documentation.

Break free of “but we’ve always done it this way”

There’s a reason people gravitate towards Word, as the first version was released in 1983 — they’re familiar with it. However, we’ve come a long way since then and the specific needs of medical authors can be better suited with SCA.

Whereas traditional desktop publishing has many limitations, component authoring can:

  • Streamline the authoring, review and updating process
  • Enhance collaboration to encourage fewer missed details at every step
  • Improve consistency across departments
  • Enable compliancy by automatically updating across assets when required
  • Increase security and offer visibility into each stage of the authoring process.
  • Save on resourcing

Though there might be a reluctance to learn new technology, the right SCA solution will enable better collaboration, eliminate inefficient copy and pasting, and ultimately, save your organization on documentation costs.

It’s time to move on from inefficient and costly Life Sciences documentation desktop publishing. Docuvera’s SCA solution leverages the power of the cloud to provide a streamlined, transparent documentation process that can transform business — all in one, easy-to-use platform.

Reach out today to learn how Docuvera can help evolve your documentation process.

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