>Chiltern's Integrated Resourcing Solutions (CIRS) division will provide specialised staff resourcing to pharma and biotech companies operating clinical research in India for a broad range of positions including clinical research associates, regulatory affairs and project management.
Although there are already recruitment companies currently operating in India providing recruitment services in this field, they are not highly specialised in the area as we are, Dr Faiz Kermani, European marketing manager, Chiltern, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com.
"CIRS is a new concept in India and we will be the first to start work in this field," said Dr Rakesh Lalchandani, the newly-appointed business development executive for CIRS in India.
Dr Lalchandani is in the process of completing a Post Graduate Diploma in clinical research, regulatory and patents, and belives that this, coupled with his considerable medical experience, gives him a unique insight into how CIRS can benefit the Indian clinical research environment.
"With Indian pharmaceutical companies, the outsourcing managers and heads of clinical operations tend to be medics. I believe that with my experience and communication skills we will be able to generate greater awareness amongst Indian sponsors about CIRS," he said.
India is fast growing as a hub for outsourcing pharma services, in particular contract research, data management and biometrics, due to increased cost pressures and competition in the pharma market and improved confidence in the quality of output in India.
One particularly budding area, the clinical trials market, which was worth $70m in 2002, has been predicted to skyrocket as high as $1bn by 2010.
Traditionally, the bulk of outsourced research conducted in India was contracted to clinical research organisations (CRO), however, pharma companies are increasingly expanding their own resources in India in order to keep control over some tasks in-house.
Typically, they are now mostly outsourcing registration and post-registration surveillance studies to CROs and managing all pivotal studies in-house.
A dilemma facing such companies is how to make sure they have sufficient personnel to meet in-house project demands as and when they occur, while still keeping staff head counts low to reduce overheads.
Contract staffing is proving a popular solution, and globally is now a flourishing industry, and many global CROs now have contract staffing departments that provide temporary or permanent staff to pharma companies.
While Major pharma companies in India such as Roche, Novartis, Pfizer and Wyeth are now using this staffing model for clinical research, on a wider scale, contract staffing is still a novelty in India.
Chiltern has now moved in to fill this lucrative gap in the market.
"Naturally, there are potential challenges ahead as the Indian clinical research environment is relatively young. Therefore, it will be important to identify experienced people who will be interested in working on contract with sponsor companies," said Lalchandani.
"We must also encourage sponsor companies to accept the concept of contract staffing. However, our initial discussions have proved extremely promising and so I predict a bright future for CIRS in India," he said.