Outsourcing-pharma.com spoke with Joshua Schultz, Parexel VP of strategic account leadership at DIA 2011 who explained that strategic deals, like the one the CRO recently signed with Pfizer, differ markedly from simple transactional relationships.
“Having governance…function to function, subject matter expert to subject matter expert, therapeutic area to therapeutic area, local regional folks to local regional folks on both sides really drives great communication that allows issues to be identified earlier than in the old world.”
Schultz said the ability to build systems that work specifically with those in place at the partner organisation, the use of convergent SOPs and training programmes all increase the efficiency of the process.
He also said that, as a result of such partnerships, CROs are becoming more engaged in the success of the research the carry out.
“Being in a strategic partnership means you need to own your outcome in a far more fundamental way than in the old transactional models,” explained Schultz.
He also suggested the skills CROs need have changed, citing things which were once marginal offering like feasibility assessment, study start up and regulatory strategies as fundamental in strategic partnerships.
“Sponsors have had to change to …the teams that oversee the CRO can be slimmer but they have to have different skill sets too,” Schutlz continued, adding that they require people more used to oversight than doing the work directly are a must.