By Craig Morgan
In response to tighter margins, globalization and increasing regulatory complexity, sponsors have been embracing an outsourcing model using Contract Research Organizations (CROs) to conduct scientific services for all phases of clinical research. A primary motivator driving this trend is the expected benefits to be gained from external specialization, allowing drug makers to focus on core competencies and a value focused workflow. The pace of scientific discovery requires drug companies to utilize cutting-edge techniques and subject expertise across a vast breadth of therapeutic specialties. Outsourcing provides access to these technologies with none of the costly in-house investment. Beyond offering market agility and introducing fair market price efficiencies to many aspects of the drug development pipeline, strategic outsourcing also aims to shorten end-to-end launch time, allowing sponsors to recoup R&D expenditure quicker. With most sponsors utilizing an outsourcing model of some kind, the biggest opportunity might still lie ahead. As the industry adapts to be more budget minded and efficient, the quest for innovation remains. So, what does meaningful innovation look like for the clinical trial industry?