Welcome to our 2nd Annual Contract Pharma Outsourcing Survey! More than 200 sponsor-side respondents offered up their opinions on outsourcing trends for this year’s poll.
On the following pages, many of the charts will include the ranks for the total respondent base, followed by breakouts of subgroups. Because of some strange sampling sizes, the only groups I felt comfortable in breaking out into their own segments were Big Pharma, Small/Mid-Tier Pharma, and Emerging Biopharma.
Year to Year
Last year, 20% of total respondents believed that they’d spend the same or less on outsourcing in the coming year; this year, that number was flat. While 42% of respondents believed they’d increase outsourcing spending by 10% or more in the coming year, only 28% of respondents felt that way this time around.
More of this year’s respondents answered that their primary reason for outsourcing is to focus on core competencies (43% vs. 37% in 2005). This jump came at the expense of temporary lack of capacity (29% vs. 31%) and lifecycle management (3% vs. 6%).
When it comes to preferred providers, 49% of this year’s total respondents said they use between 1-5 preferred vendors, compared to 56% of respondents last year. 61% of respondents said that more than half of their outsourcing spending goes to those preferred providers, while only 55% of last year’s respondents sent that much work to their preferred providers.
This year, we added the question, “What is your biggest complaint about Contract Service Providers you've worked with in the past?”, and many respondents jumped at the opportunity to vent their frustrations.
Even though our editorial guidelines explicitly ban the phrase “Communication is key,” it seems that plenty of sponsors would love to have better lines of communication with their CSPs.
The #2 complaint was missed timelines (I bet that plenty of CSPs would be able to blame their clients for the same thing), while a number of other respondents complained about confidentiality breaches.
Other complaints included:
“Language skills (or lack thereof)”
“We are a Big Pharma and have worked with small CSPs who bill for every second they spend on us, even at meetings they have called to discuss issues with us. We feel as if they are interested in nickels and dimes but not in a business relationship.”
“One former contract manufacturer was totally out of control, delivering useless products or useless products mixed in with good product. It was a costly nightmare.”
“Some providers just don't understand what GMPs are”
Thanks to all who took the time to respond to this year’s Outsourcing Survey. The winner of our iPod Nano drawing is Marjolaine Carriere of Wyeth! Congratulations!