Make Your CRO An Extension Of Your Internal Team
By Rob Wright, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader magazine
In May 2011, Pfizer announced it would reduce its clinical research functional service providers from 17 to 2. Initially, this 88% reduction seemed to contradict the trend of pharma and biopharma to increasingly outsource clinical research. That year, the global healthcare contract research outsourcing market was valued at $25.1 billion. By 2018, the market is forecast to reach $65 billion. How can the clinical research market be growing, when companies like Pfizer are employing fewer organizations? Simple. The move on the part of Pfizer is representative of the growing trend of strategic partnering — putting more of your research eggs into fewer CRO research baskets.
According to John Hubbard, senior VP and worldwide head of development operations for Pfizer, the move to partner with fewer CROs was intended to provide the company’s collaborators with a significant volume of work on which to focus their attention, thereby increasing their accountability and, hopefully, their productivity. “The industry as a whole had been very capital-intensive in terms of the amount of money spent versus each dollar received,” stated Hubbard. “We thought we should be able to get a higher efficiency against the amount of capital we spent.”