SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

August 02, 2011 10:12 ET

51% of Pharmaceutical Companies Outsource Part or All of Medical Communications

Outsourcing Is Most Popular Among Global Medical Affairs Teams, Finds Cutting Edge Information

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - Aug 2, 2011) - Global medical affairs departments outsource more activities than U.S. or other country-level groups, according to a new study from Cutting Edge Information. 51 percent of pharmaceutical companies' global departments outsource medical affairs activities, compared to 24 percent of U.S. departments and 8 percent of country departments.

Medical education ranks as one of the top two most commonly outsourced medical affairs activities for all departments, along with traditional medical communications (medical information and medical publications). "Medical Affairs: Effective Global Resource Allocation" found that among global teams' outsourcing model is one of breadth and not depth. Most activities are kept in-house while smaller responsibilities are farmed out to vendors. In this way, global medical affairs teams are not dependent on vendors.

"Global medical affairs teams employ outsourcing strategies that usually allow them to maintain oversight while using external support for specific tasks," said Elio Evangelista, director of research at Cutting Edge Information. "Global teams are also growing rapidly. With that growth comes a need to call in specialized expertise, especially compared to U.S.-based teams, which often have had full-time medical affairs personnel in place for a longer period of time."

Among the global medical affairs teams who said they work with external vendors, 90 percent outsource medical publications and medical education responsibilities. Medical information teams and thought leader development activities are also high on the list, with 80 percent of global teams outsourcing support for these functions. Compliance, health economics and regulatory responsibilities are least likely to be outsourced -- only 20 percent of companies ever outsource these activities.

The study includes best practices, benchmark data and performance metrics collected from 20 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. "Medical Affairs: Effective Global Resource Allocation" ( is designed to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies distribute medical information efficiently while providing top-tier support for all stakeholders.

Benchmark findings from medical affairs executives focus on:

  • Building global, U.S. and affiliate medical affairs budgets
  • Balancing staffing and spending demands across different medical affairs sub-functions
  • Understanding trends in medical function outsourcing

For more information about Medical Affairs management, please contact Elio Evangelista or Yanis Saradjian at 919-403-6583.

Contact Information

  • Contact
    Elio Evangelista
    +1 919-403-6583