Changing dynamics in the pharmaceutical industry are driving a growing demand for outsourced services.
Research and Markets valued the global healthcare business process outsourcing (BPO) market at $92 billion in 2013. The market is expected to reach $188 billion by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 10.8%. The industry for outsourced business services includes payer, provider, and pharmaceutical outsourcing segments. Of these, pharmaceutical outsourcing represents the largest segment. Within the pharmaceutical outsourcing segment there are clinical research organizations (CROs), contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs), and companies that provide non-clinical, business support services.
Pharmaceutical business process outsourcing groups provide non-clinical services such as medical communications, marketing, operational and analytical support, and compliance and regulatory services. When it comes to drug development, the process from initial analysis of the opportunity to bringing the drug to market involves several steps. There are opportunities to outsource elements of each one and many pharma services companies are well equipped to take on several of them.
According to KPMG, the most highly outsourced steps within the drug development process are discovery, development, and launch/marketing. Regulatory support is also a key across each one of the above steps, and is increasingly being outsourced as well.
Areas expected to experience the most growth in the near future include marketing, sales analytics, drug development support and compliance and regulatory services. These represent areas that are less functional in nature, and more strategically important.