Pharma Not So Big On Cloud For Clinical Trials

Chris Anderson | Government Health IT | December 26, 2012

...So it is against this backdrop of incredibly high costs, in a business that is both dependent upon – and held hostage by – the collection and sharing of huge data sets, that one could imagine a surge in interest in cloud computing to help trim costs in one of the most expensive areas of bringing a drug to market: clinical trials.

Well, not so fast. “The industry has been appropriately slow to adapt to distributed architecture primarily for security concerns. I’m not sure they are legitimate security concerns, but it is their comfort of certain security arrangements,” noted James Heywood, CEO and founder of online health data sharing platform company PatientsLikeMe.

It is not just security concerns governing the rate of adoption. Big pharma is notoriously slow-footed when it comes to changing its business model. Some would argue it is a major reason why so many pharmaceutical companies are struggling as their blockbuster drugs go off patent. In short, there is an institutionalized caution to embracing the kind of change moving to the cloud presents...