SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

February 03, 2016 10:16 ET

Study Finds That 83 Percent of Top 50 Drug Companies Outsource Clinical Data Management

Top 50 Pharmaceutical Companies Outsource Key Responsibilities to Accelerate Clinical Trial Timelines, According to Cutting Edge Information

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - February 03, 2016) - Clinical development teams now outsource higher percentages of tactical roles, such as data management and trial monitoring, than strategic ones, such as new product planning or medical communications. A recent study of more than 40 clinical development teams found that 83 percent of Top 10 and Top 50 pharmaceutical companies outsource responsibility for clinical data management compared to 40 percent of medical device companies. 

"Clinical Outsourcing: Leverage Sponsor-CRO Relationships to Accelerate Trial Timelines," a clinical outsourcing benchmarking study published by primary intelligence provider Cutting Edge Information, also found that 40 percent of Top 10 and Top 50 drug manufacturers outsource traditional trial monitoring responsibilities. Additionally, 40 percent of small pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies outsource trial monitoring.

The frequency of activities outsourced and the percentage of the role that external parties actually handle do not always go hand-in-hand. The extent that teams rely on third parties varies depending on multiple factors, but namely company size and activity type. For example, data management ranks among the top activities that surveyed teams prefer to outsource.

"Activity type may shape a clinical team's willingness to outsource," said Sarah Ray, senior analyst at Cutting Edge Information. "Surveyed teams prefer to retain much of the strategic responsibility for clinical trials in-house."

Half of the surveyed companies report outsourcing some aspect of clinical development. However, teams often report outsourcing smaller percentages of clinical development and other strategic elements than execution-driven or tactical responsibilities. Among the companies that do outsource clinical development, external teams are typically only responsible for 11 percent of total clinical development duties.

Developing a strong operational foundation for clinical studies is a necessity for pharma and device organizations alike. Working hand-in-hand with knowledgeable third party groups can help sponsors' clinical teams fine-tune study protocols and expedite trial timelines.

"Clinical Outsourcing: Leverage Sponsor-CRO Relationships to Accelerate Trial Timelines," available at, guides clinical executives through clinical outsourcing partnerships and planning. Report highlights include:

  • Metrics detailing clinical trial activities from pharmaceutical, device, CRO and site perspectives
  • Data on surveyed teams' vendor selection process and preferred collaboration type (master services agreement versus functional service provider)
  • Best practice recommendations and projected costs associated with selected patient recruitment activities
  • Profiles of 17 pharmaceutical, biotech, device and CRO-managed clinical trials, including overall trial costs, number of enrolled patients and sites and clinical team size

For more information about clinical outsourcing practices, please visit

Contact Information

    Rachel Shockley
    Marketing Team Leader
    Cutting Edge Information