Pharma Filing Buzz: 25% Increase in Robotics Mentions in Q1 2022


Mentions of robotics in pharma company filings increased by 25% between the last quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022.

In total, the frequency of robotics-related phrases between April 2021 and March 2022 was as frequent as it was in 2016 when GlobalData, from which our data is drawn for this article, first started tracking the top issues mentioned in the documents filed by companies.

When pharmaceutical companies publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other documents, GlobalData analyzes the text and identifies individual phrases related to the disruptive forces the companies will face in the years to come. Robotics is one such topic – companies that excel and invest in these areas are seen as better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to overcome unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether robotics features more in pharmaceutical company summaries and strategies, two measures were calculated. First, we looked at the percentage of companies that mentioned robotics at least once in filings over the last twelve months – it was 9% compared to 3% in 2016. Second, we calculated the percentage of total sentences analyzed that referred to robotics.

Among the 40 largest employers in the pharmaceutical industry, Johnson & Johnson referred to robotics the most between April 2021 and March 2022. GlobalData identified 16 robotics-related phrases in filings by the US-based company. United, or 0.2% of all sentences. Grifols mentioned robotics in second place – the issue was mentioned in 0.08% of sentences in company filings. Bayer, Cipla, and Otsuka are other top employers with high robotics endorsements.

Of all the pharmaceutical companies, the dossier released in the first quarter of 2022 that placed the most emphasis on robotics came from Moderna. Of the 2,635 sentences in the document, six (0.2%) referred to robotics.

This analysis provides a rough indication of which companies are focusing on robotics and how important the issue is within the pharmaceutical industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted with caution. For example, a company mentioning robotics more regularly is not necessarily evidence that it is using new techniques or prioritizing the problem, nor does it indicate whether the company’s businesses in the field of robotics have been successes or failures.

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