The CRO world will be heading to the classical music capital of the world this week, Vienna, Austria, to participate in the 12th Annual Partnerships in Clinical trials (PCT) Congress, and Outsourcing-Pharma.com will be accompanying them on the banks of the Danube to listen, discuss and stir the debates affecting the clinical outsourcing world.
Amongst the talk of cutting edge clinical delivery and trial innovations, one topic bound to be rearing its clinical head is strategic partnerships with pharma companies and their effect on the CRO industry. According to a recent GlobalData report:
“Collaborations have evolved from simple transactional relationships into multi-year, highly integrated strategic engagements focused on shared objectives, mutual investment, and involvement in clinical trial design and drug plan development.”
Some of the largest alliances of the last few years not surprisingly includes some of the largest companies, both pharma and CRO. These include Pfizer’s partnerships with Parexel and Icon, Sanofi and Covance, GSK, PPD and Parexel, and Bristol-Myers Squibb selection of Quintiles as a central labs supplier earlier this year.
Though clearly benefiting the bigger boys, whether the trend towards strategic partnerships is furthering small and mid-sized CROs is a much bigger question. Furthermore, consolidation through mergers and acquisitions is reducing the number of players (see PRA and RPS, for example) and perhaps pushing the industry towards an oligopoly.
To answer such questions we need your help. Please answer the question below, and don’t forget to leave us your comments and for what sort of CRO (big, medium or small) you work for.
Are strategic alliances a positive impact on the CRO industry as a whole?
Too early to say still23%