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  1. Analysis
August 9, 2022

Filings buzz: tracking industrial automation mentions in pharmaceuticals

We've analysed companies' annual reports and other filings to see which key issues are receiving the most attention.

By Data Journalism Team

Mentions of industrial automation within the filings of companies in the pharmaceutical industry were 30% lower between July 2021 and June 2022 than in 2016, according to the latest analysis of data from GlobalData.

When pharmaceutical companies publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Industrial automation is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether industrial automation is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of pharmaceutical companies, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned industrial automation at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 59% compared to 49% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to industrial automation.

Of the 10 biggest employers in the pharmaceutical industry, Roche was the company which referred to industrial automation the most between July 2021 and June 2022. GlobalData identified nine industrial automation-related sentences in the Switzerland-based company's filings - 0.18% of all sentences. AstraZeneca mentioned industrial automation the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.16% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high industrial automation mentions included Novartis, IQVIA and GSK.

Across all pharmaceutical companies the filing published in the second quarter of 2022 which exhibited the greatest focus on industrial automation came from Pharming. Of the document's 2,397 sentences, eight (0.3%) referred to industrial automation.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on industrial automation and how important the issue is considered within the pharmaceutical industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning industrial automation more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into industrial automation have been successes or failures.

In the last quarter, pharmaceutical companies based in Western Europe were most likely to mention industrial automation with 0.08% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in Canada mentioned industrial automation in just 0.04% of sentences.

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