Chidi Okoro understands just how significant of an impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the pharmaceutical industry today. With more than 30 years of experience working in pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and even various food markets, Okoro has a thorough grasp of the evolution of pharmaceuticals and how the industry is continuously shifting to meet consumer and supplier demands.
Chidi explains just how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the pharmaceutical industry and how it will continue to do so even well into the future.
Okoro’s Experience in Healthcare
Chidi Okoro currently facilitates sessions in Strategic Studies at the Lagos Business School, and has an extensive background in healthcare, with an emphasis on pharmaceuticals and the retail pharmaceutical sub-sector. Chidi has been recognized and awarded for his numerous achievements in business and strategy, ultimately landing him a spot as a managing director and board member of directors of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria PLC.
In addition to this distinguished title, Chidi was later designated as a board member of the Ogun State Security Trust fund, allowing him to connect with locals in the community through volunteer and charitable efforts. Chidi Okoro is no stranger to working in healthcare and continues to do so, even today. He recently accepted his latest significant role as CTO (Chief Transformation Officer) for HealthPlus just in 2020.
“I am incredibly excited to now have the opportunity and the resources to take the platform to the next level, at a time of unrivaled opportunity for the sector. I look forward to working with all stakeholders to achieve even greater things in the future”, said Okoro, when discussing his opportunity to take on a new leading role for HealthPlus in 2020.
Chidi is well-versed in just how much the pharmaceutical industry is changing in a post-COVID-19 world and is eager to work with HealthPlus throughout its evolution.
“I would like to recognize HealthPlus’ role in spearheading the evolution of modern pharmacies across Nigeria and scaling retail capabilities in the industry overall”, said Okoro.
As he begins his new journey working as CTO for HealthPlus, Okoro also shares just how he believes the COVID-19 pandemic has and will continue to affect the pharmaceutical industry on both the manufacturing and patient side of the matter.
Increased Acceleration Capabilities
One of the most notable innovations to come from the COVID-19 pandemic includes the ability to accelerate the process of creating, testing, and utilizing vaccinations and other necessary medications. With the ability to expedite trials and testing with fewer regulations mitigating progress, Chidi is confident in the ability to quickly scale various aspects of the pharmaceutical market.
Transitioning to Digital Tools
The use of digital tools, remote monitoring techniques, and even virtual visits will all significantly impact the future of pharmaceuticals and retail pharmacies alike. Smartphone technologies, downloadable apps, and digital monitoring systems can help manage and track medication usage, requests, fulfillment, and even inventory issues flagged by specific locations anywhere in the world. By transitioning to centralized management systems, it is much easier to streamline the process of managing, fulfilling, and handling medication requests at both ends (for both patients and physicians alike).
Acute Supply Chain Awareness
Thankfully, during the brunt of the initial COVID-19 pandemic, much of the supply chain around the world remained uninterrupted. However, as the globe has now witnessed, we are not immune to supply chain disruptions and disasters, even if we believe we are ready to take on a challenge.
The COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity to shine a light on many issues that run rampant throughout supply chain management across all industries and markets, including pharmaceuticals and retail pharmacies. Because of the need to track and monitor all supplies coming in and going out of all countries, innovative solutions for supply chain management platforms were created. Additionally, supply chains received more recognition and attention to help streamline routes and optimize management.
A Slow-Down in Clinical Trials
One of the negative repercussions of the global COVID-19 pandemic included a noticeable slowdown in clinical trials. Due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders, many pharmaceutical clinical trials were canceled, placed on hold, or forgotten about due to time constraints and the need for the development of the COVID-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, a slow-down in clinical trials resulted in the following:
- Lack of development: A lack of development took place without the ability to move forward with scheduled clinical trials. Many medications and trial treatments were no longer considered viable or a priority due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Trial mismanagement: Due to the initial disorganization of the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry experienced clinical trial mismanagement and misdirection.
- Loss of potential treatments: The inability to conclude clinical trials resulted in a possible loss of treatments and medications in the pharmaceutical industry.
Chidi Okoro is excited to see what is on the horizon regarding growth, scaling, and even AI advancements for the pharmaceutical industry. While he stresses the importance of maintaining a connection with patients at all times, he is optimistic that future technologies will resolve many of the pain points that healthcare still struggles to overcome, even today.