A highlight from Leveling Up Commercial Operations in Pharma - with David Ehrlich of Aktana
In this episode, we're focusing on the pharma industry and we're focusing on a unique element of pharma that is the commercial side. So we have all the activities we need to do to develop drugs and push them through clinical trials, and then of course we need to actually get them to patients when you go sell them to our customers, and there's a lot of activity there as well, but it's less talked about when it comes to the intersection with artificial intelligence. Our guest this week is David elrond is the CEO of octane, auton is focused on helping sales and marketing leaders go to market with their products, and there's three topics that we cover in this episode. The first is the business challenges of taking a drug to market. What do sales marketing and product folks have to deal with? What are the complexities that they're buried in? Many of these are going to mesh with some of you in other industries. If you're listening in and you're in banking or you're in retail, I'm sure some of these communication challenges and branding challenges are going to be things you'll resonate with as well. But David goes deep on exactly what this looks like in pharma. Secondly, we talk about where data and AI can fit into that mix to add value. Again, this is a unique use case, very different from a lot of the backend drug development topics that we've covered over the years here on the AI and business podcast. So David explains where data and AI fit into drive the sales and marketing metrics up for pharma firms. And lastly, he shares some insights on AI adoption. I asked David directly what it takes for folks on the commercial side of a life sciences business to prepare for and adopt AI in a way that gives them the highest likelihood of success and he shares some of his insights and common pitfalls and things that they've done. Well, so I hope that you find those insights to be transferable to your sector as well. This interview is brought to you by for more information about reaching emerges global audience stay tuned to the outro of this episode, but without further ado, let's fly right in. This is David elric with akana. They're in the AI and business podcast. So David, welcome to the show. Thanks, Dan. It's great to be here. I'm glad to have you with us. We talk a lot about AI in the domain of pharma, but not so much in commercial. And this is sort of where you guys play. Some of our listeners are very much in your industry, some aren't. Maybe we could kind of define commercial and what workflows exist under there. And then head right into the particular workflows that you guys operate in that AI might help with. But if we could start with the definition, I think that would be helpful. Sure. So I mean, the way to think about most of life science companies is there is a research and development side of the company that figures out what kinds of products the market would want that's consistent with the kind of impact that they want to have in the world. They go and attempt to build those products and develop them and release them to market. So the way to think about commercial gaming is every big life science company is going to have two sides to them. The first side is around research, development, manufacturing, it's around figuring out what drugs or what product the market needs that's consistent with the kind of impact they want to have in the world. They go, they build that product. They invent the product, they invent the medicine, they do all the development. They get it approved by the FDA, and then they hand it over to the commercial side of the business. The commercial side of the business is really around how do we market this new brand this new treatment for a certain disease? How do we explain to the world that we have this now? What it does, how it operates, then there's distribution and their sales, and there's fulfillment. So it's everything around that side of the business. Got to include it. Just fulfillment get bundled under commercial in theory here. Okay, okay, got it. I was unaware. So I know the sales and marketing side, but wasn't quite certain fulfillment sort of had its own bucket. Yeah, you can basically think of it as building and getting a product approved and everything else.