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India's inexpensive biostatistics outsourcing market set to boom: Beroe

By Natalie Morrison+

13-Aug-2012

India’s biostatistics outsourcing market is set to grow 15 per cent in two years thanks to a 50 per cent cost saving compared with the West, according to a new survey.

Working with Outsourcing-Pharma.com, Beroe senior research analyst Sarabjeet Sharad quizzed a range of industry experts about services in statistical analysis of biologics in clinical trials.

He found that though most biostatistics work was traditionally outsourced to contract research organisations (CROs) in North America, cost advantages in emerging markets means a greater portion of work is now being carried out elsewhere.

And with a booming infrastructure – India now accounts for more than 30 per cent of the entire industry’s personnel who work with biostatistics – Sharad said the country is now the hottest of all emerging destinations, and has already grown by 20 per cent in the past three years.

He said the trend will continue because, of the developing industries, India ranks highest amongst necessary skill sets as well as English proficiency.

“India can be looked at as the outsourcing hub for biostatistics and clinical programming as presently biostatistics forms 10 per cent of the overall clinical trials market which is significantly higher than the global average of seven per cent,” he said.

Sharad added that further growth will come from a general uptick in the biostatistics field at the moment because of an increase in number of clinical trials being carried out.

“The Biostatistics is required for every trial and thus there is growing demand for it with the growth on clinical trials,” he said. “Pharmaceutical companies are concentrating on R&D (research and development) activity because of the patent-loss that is coming up. The biostatistics outsourcing market will also grow with this spending.”

He added that Big Pharma’s new found preference for ‘functional outsourcing’  – a mixture of in-house and outsourced activities for projects – will also work in the Indian market’s favour.

“This hybrid form of outsourcing where some part of the activity is kept in-house and the rest is outsourced is most popular,” he told us. “Most pharmaceutical companies engage with an ITES/BPO in India for biostatistics.”

This approach would most suit the scale and volume of work required by a large pharmaceutical company.”

Big players

Sharad said that though the industry is flourishing, more than 96 per cent of business comes from ten firms working with ITES/BPOs (IT enabled services/ business process outsourcing ) in the region – from specialists such as TCS, Cognizant, HP, HCL, Mahindra Satyam, Accenture, Wipro and the full service CROs like Quintiles, PPD.

He said the figures are a result of the big players recognizing a need for more alternative and cost effective resourcing models.

“Most of the ITES/BPOs are now started offering bundling of the biostatistics, clinical data management, medical writing and pharmacovigilance back end work to these ITES companies,” he told us.

“In India, most of the large BPO/ITES companies are offering bundled outsourcing of clinical trial and analysis on a full service platform.”

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