AI-powered pharma supply chain solution launches

Healthcare improvement company Premier has teamed up with a cognitive supply chain company, Pensiamo, to tackle drug supply chain with a new AI-powered solution.

The new solution, which was co-developed with healthcare provider and insurer UPMC, is called CognitiveRx. UPMC, which is a $20 billion, Pittsburgh-based healthcare provider, will be the first to implement the tool to better monitor market signals, predict risks related to shortages. UPMC also owns Pensiamo, and financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The service predicts, manages and solves challenges with drug shortages, inflation, declining reimbursement and more related to the life sciences supply chain, according to a press release.

The emergence of the solution comes as other major pharma blockchain services are underway and other major healthcare companies are looking for pharma supply chain solutions. Recently, Walmart joined a blockchain group called MediLedger that aims to track and verify pharmaceuticals. The FDA is also working on a pilot program that tracks pharmaceuticals, trace inventory and helps ensure the integrity of products during the delivery process.

CognitiveRx uses machine learning to control and reduce pharmaceutical costs, using real-time signals to direct when to buy and recommend formulary strategies to buy the most advantageous products. The solution will also be offered to hospitals and health systems by Premier.

“CognitiveRx provides access to market exclusive recommendations that predict drug supply disruption risk, and support the rapid identification of clinical, purchasing and inventory solutions,” Jim Szilagy, president and CEO of Pensiamo and chief supply chain officer for UPMC, said in a statement. “We believe it will help UPMC and other healthcare organizations advance cost management and drug shortage mitigation strategies to further bend the cost curve.”