Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Clinical Research Outsourcing Spreading Wings (CRO)

India has already set several milestones in the fields for outsourcing e.g. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) and Engineering Process Outsourcing (EPO). The pharmaceutical companies have started outsourcing development, manufacturing and marketing processes so as to concentrate on their core competence and reduce cost of operation. Contrary to popular perception, cost reduction is not the only reason for their outsourcing. According to Wikipedia, some of the less known reasons for outsourcing are:
1. Less knowledge of regulatory affairs in a particular country of interest
2. Large requirements of patient populations
3. Regionalised diseases The pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies reportedly spent $57 billion on R&D in 2005 out of which an estimated $14 billion was used for outsourcing clinical research. India may be able to bag contracts worth $20 billion by 2010.
The CRO business must grow and evolve taking into consideration all ethical issues. As India has a high-level of poverty, its public health care leaves much to be desired. If adequate safeguards are not built in, there is a risk of patients being made unwitting guinea-pigs in clinical research that may finally end up as conspiratorial research.

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