CorporateJanuary 18, 2022

Can Ethics Keep Pace with Pharma Innovation?

The introduction of new technology into the development of drug treatments has raised our ambitions of what they can achieve. But it has also introduced new concerns about how these treatments are managed and whether we need new ethical standards to shape their impact on society.

Is 75% a good enough diagnostics rate? How do we eliminate bias from clinical trials? How do we protect patient data?

These are all essential questions that will govern the way the pharma industry evolves its ethical framework in a modern world, where expectations for progress will be higher and the pace of innovation will be faster. After all, we only need to look at the Theranos case to see the risks that emerge when ambition stretches beyond reality.

For Klaus Moosmayer, Chief Ethics, Risk and Compliance Officer at Novartis, there is a central question at the heart of this debate – can we trust companies to use data in the right way?

Robust ethical practices and rigorous approaches to using data and AI models are essential if patients and partners to the pharma industry are to get behind new innovations and practices.

“Transparency is one of the key pillars of the ethical, responsible use of artificial intelligence... we know the famous example of certain tech companies who would try to build their recruitment system on artificial intelligence to prescreen the candidates and then they found out that they got white male, not diverse candidates because the people put their own biases into the algorithms. And just imagine this for clinical trials? Therefore the patients' voice needs to be heard.”
Klaus Moosmayer

For Moosmayer, we must get this right if we are able to harness the power of data to improve decision-making and fuel innovation.

As he puts it in his episode of the Wolters Kluwer Pharma Unlimited podcast, when it comes to updating ethical standards at speed, the big debate will be how we use data and how the industry can structure this in a legal way to get the best out of research and development, while still protecting privacy rights.

Listen to the Pharma Unlimited Podcast series – a new series where host Bertrand Bodson goes under the microscope to examine some of the biggest issues facing the pharma sector.

Podcast Series
Managing Risk in Pharma
For pharma and biotech companies risk takes on many different forms.
Back To Top