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Access to patient population more important than price for Phase I outsourcing, says ISR

By Natalie Morrison , 08-Aug-2012
Last updated on 08-Aug-2012 at 13:30 GMT2012-08-08T13:30:37Z

Access to patient populations is a bigger deciding factor than low cost when selecting a Phase I service provider, according to ISR’s new quality benchmarking report.

The analysts asked 61 pharmaceutical professionals responsible for Phase I conduct and outsourcing across the US, Europe and Asia what makes them tick when it comes to choosing a provider.

The team also quizzed the execs about past experience with a list of CROs (contract research organisations) including Icon, Cetero, Parexel and Covance.

Of the respondents, 44 per cent ranked the ability to access the right patient population in a timely manner within their top five criteria for a provider.

Reputation also scored highly, with a positive previous experience with a CRO (contract research organisation) in the good books for 36 per cent of those quizzed, who put it in their top five.

Twenty per cent ranked a good experience as their top decision making tool.

However, contrary to a growing trend in outsourcing as a cost cutting measure for pharmas and biopharmas, offering low cost services was not a key driving factor, with only 28 per cent placing it in their top five.

“It is worth noting that low cost does not fall among the top drivers of selection – at least not currently,” the analysts, led by ISR CEO Kevin Olson, said.

But when asked what attributes are becoming increasingly important, keeping prices down took the top spot.

“If this holds true over time, service providers should expect to experience additional pricing pressure going forward,” Olson said.

And it seems the decision makers have trust that the outsourcing industry will deliver.

According to the respondents, outsourcing of Phase I studies – that has increased modestly over the past year at a rate of about three per cent for the industry – will see a five per cent increase over the next 12 months.

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