Supporting collaboration in pharmaceutical industry

The pharmaceutical sector consists of networks involving several large companies, but also many small businesses. In Spain there are about 1,400 pharmaceutical labs, 300 wholesalers distributing over 138,000 registered products to more than 20,000 pharmacies. Currently, each lab has individual partnerships with its business partners. However, these partners are often the same organisations collaborating with different labs. This sector would significantly benefit if the pharmaceutical labs were to cluster together to share resources.

NeOn’s activities in the pharmaceutical domain focus on two areas of the market. Firstly in the development of methods and tools to support and maintain homogeneous access to information about pharmaceutical products. Specifically, to provide the timely dissemination of updates regarding the introduction and withdrawal of medicines, and also to provide accurate and unified information on request.

Secondly NeOn is also tackling the financial aspect of this sector. Since a European directive in 2002 authorised the use of digitally signed electronic invoices for commercial transactions, its use has grown exponentially. Heterogeneity of invoicing solutions and poor uptake of standards are key obstacles preventing the widespread use of digital invoices. NeOn’s aim is to enable automatic processing of arbitrary invoices by abstracting their content out of any particular representation format or technology.

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