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March 4, 2022

Filings buzz: tracking internet of things mentions in pharmaceuticals

Of the 50 biggest employers in pharma, Cadila Healthcare Ltd was the company which referred to IoT the most between October 2020 and September 2021.

By Data Journalism Team

Mentions of the internet of things within the filings of companies in the pharmaceutical industry were 325% higher between October 2020 and September 2021 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. The internet of things 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 the internet of things 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 the internet of things at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 22% compared to 9% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to the internet of things.

Of the 50 biggest employers in the pharmaceutical industry, Cadila Healthcare Ltd was the company which referred to the internet of things the most between October 2020 and September 2021. GlobalData identified 18 internet of things-related sentences in the India-based company's filings - 0.4% of all sentences. Merck & Co Inc mentioned the internet of things the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.3% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high internet of things mentions included Cipla Ltd, PRA Health Sciences Inc and Teijin Ltd.

Across all pharmaceutical companies the filing published in the third quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on the internet of things came from Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. Of the document's 1,073 sentences, seven (0.7%) referred to the internet of things.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on the internet of things 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 the internet of things 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 the internet of things have been successes or failures.

GlobalData also categorises internet of things mentions by a series of subthemes. Of these subthemes, the most commonly referred to topic in the third quarter of 2021 was 'connected car', which made up 47% of all internet of things subtheme mentions by pharmaceutical companies.

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