Testing, Testing: Clinical Trials Making the Move to Emerging Countries

In an attempt to save time, money and resources, international pharmaceutical companies are increasingly out-sourcing clinical trials to countries in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, according to a new report by industry experts GBI Research.

The business intelligence outfit's latest study* states that with squeezed Research and Development (R&D) budgets, Big Pharma is finding greater value in employing Contract Research Organizations (CROs) in emerging nations for the management of clinical trials.

CROs and discovery research outsourcing companies specialize in conducting preclinical and clinical research and provide a faster service with the benefit of economies of scale which enable companies to cover a large number of molecules and identify unsuccessful compounds more quickly.

Drug discovery companies such as Advinus, WuXi AppTec and Aurigene have all delivered their targets ahead of schedule and helped the big pharmaceutical companies to accelerate their drug research at considerably lower costs.

Every drug that fails to make it through clinical testing represents a financial loss, and therefore smart pharmaceutical companies have been entering into risk-sharing agreements with CROs that profit both sides should a drug become marketable, while also distributing the monetary burden of failed medications.

With the benefits of employing CROs based in developing countries proving to be a major point of consideration for Big Pharma, the total number of clinical trials conducted in the US has fallen from 60% of the global sum in 2002 to 40% in 2010.

In 2010, Europe carried out 25% of all clinical trials, while East Asia accounted for 10%. Canada, the Middle East, South America and India followed with 6.1%, 4%, 3% and 2.5%, respectively.

* Clinical Supply Chain Management - Technologies such as IVRS, CTMS, EDC and RFID Enhance Drug Supply Management
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