The biopharmaceutical industry’s outsourcing strategy has enabled the eight members of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO) to double in size over the past 10 years, today employing more than 100,000 professionals worldwide with a global payroll of nearly $6 billion.
During the same period, member companies, who conduct clinical trials in 142 countries, saw revenues increase 180% to an estimated $14.2 billion—or about two-thirds of contract biopharmaceutical development spending, according to a new ACRO survey.
“As ACRO members, we pride ourselves on the safety, quality and efficiency of the research we conduct,” said ACRO chairman Ciaran Murray, CEO of Icon. “We also are at the forefront of innovation, which is enhancing the development process and delivering better outcomes for our customers.”
The survey also reported the CROs have focused on adaptive trial designs, enhanced patient access, data analytics, predictive technologies and access to real-world evidence data.
Among other key findings:
“While the main driver has been outsourcing of clinical trials, our members also increased their scope of services, as they are doing regulatory consulting and technology work, more late phase studies and laboratory services,” said John Lewis, ACRO senior vice president of policy and public affairs.
Last week, ACRO named Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, and Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) the organization’s first Legislators of the Year. Upton was cited for his leadership on the bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative, while Carper was commended for his introduction of the COMPLETE Act, which permanently extends and modernizes the R&D tax credit while acknowledging the role contract research plays in helping to bring new medical products to market.