The Avoca Group's latest data on the outsourcing relationship between biopharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations (CROs) shows that both sponsors and providers report significantly higher satisfaction with their clinical outsourcing relationships—the highest since 2006. These findings, first reported in Pharm Exec's March issue, are welcome news—but they led us to probe for a closer look beyond the numbers. What explains the uptick in satisfaction after years of increasing dissatisfaction? Are the numbers likely to be sustained in the future? What practical information can biopharmaceutical executives take away in managing the relationship with CROs?
What's Behind the Satisfaction Turnaround?With biopharmaceutical companies' satisfaction at a low ebb in 2009, it was no surprise that most survey respondents reported that their companies were planning on making internal changes to improve their outsourcing relationships. The planned changes centered on the following areas:
» Focusing on fewer, more strategic outsourcing relationships;
» Increasing investment in more formal approaches (metrics) to evaluate and manage these relationships; and
»Improving information-sharing internally and externally.