By Susan Jalbert, Oracle Health Sciences
In 2008, the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development estimated the total market size for contract clinical services at approximately $8.5 billion. Nearly 10 years later, market sizing estimates put the contract clinical service industry at over $30 billion. This outsourcing trend is being driven in response to the ever-increasing size, complexity, duration and cost of clinical trials. To illustrate the impact of clinical research organization (CRO) growth, headcount from major CROs outpaced those of major sponsors as far back as 2010, as sponsors strived to trade fixed for variable costs of labor through headcount reductions and concurrent upscaling of outsourced activity. According to recent research, sponsors now outsource 61% of clinical development work and anticipate remaining around this level through 2021. Continued growth in R&D spending along with increasing costs of drug development will drive spend in outsource development despite the relative proportion allocated to outsourced spend remaining flat.
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