Press Releases–2004

Novartis, AstraZeneca, and Merck Named Top Sponsors by European Researchers

BOSTON, MA–June 2, 2004–Thomson (TSX: TOC; NYSE: TOC), a global leader in providing integrated information solutions to scientific and healthcare customers, today announced results from a CenterWatch survey among 306 European investigative research centers (sites) evaluating their relationship with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that sponsor clinical research.

The results rank Novartis, AstraZeneca, and Merck as the top three pharmaceutical companies. Novartis had the highest overall average rating and the most significant improvement in ratings since the 2002 survey, with almost 85% of all ratings "good" or "excellent." AstraZeneca rated highest for work style and ongoing process effectiveness. Merck took the highest ratings for its support of the grant payment process.

When compared with the 2002 findings, the survey illustrates an overall improvement in industry relationships. The reason for the increase, according to Mary Jo Lamberti, Ph.D., senior manager of market intelligence at CenterWatch, is fairly clear: "pharmaceutical companies are recognizing strong sponsor-site relationships are key to speeding up the drug development process and therefore cutting their time to market."

By conducting this survey every two years, Thomson CenterWatch not only provides sponsor companies a benchmark for their performance, it ultimately improves the level of services to the investigative sites throughout Europe.

"Biopharmaceutical companies are putting more effort into training and retaining good personnel. Ratings of professionalism of medical staff, monitors, and clinical research associates have all increased," said Lamberti.

The 2004 survey also identified areas pharmaceutical companies need to enhance to broaden their clinical research activities throughout Europe. These include setting realistic patient enrollment goals, being flexible when modifying protocols and contracts, and paying grant payment in a fair manner.

The CenterWatch European Investigative Site Survey was conducted from late 2003 through early 2004. Research center professionals were asked to rate 27 attributes of sponsors they worked with in the past two years. The attributes fell into three broad categories: general project management expertise, personnel and workstyle, and project-specific activities and responsibilities.

Detailed analyses of the survey results, along with a discussion of top-rated company practices, were published in the May issue of The CenterWatch Monthly newsletter. To order a copy, visit or call CenterWatch customer service at (800) 765-9647. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies interested in receiving a comprehensive customized report on the results of the 2004 Thomson CenterWatch European Investigative Site Survey should contact Mary Jo Lamberti at (617) 856-5956.

About Thomson Corporation and CenterWatch
The Thomson Corporation (, with 2003 revenues from continuing operations of $7.6 billion, is a global leader in providing integrated information solutions to business and professional customers in the fields of healthcare and scientific research, law, tax, accounting, financial services, higher education, reference information, corporate training and testing and assessment. Its healthcare solutions include CenterWatch (, a leader in the clinical trials industry. With a specific focus on the clinical trials industry, CenterWatch is a Boston-based publishing and information services company that provides business journalism, reference databases, accredited training manuals, original research and analysis, and market intelligence services to assist organizations in managing and implementing clinical research strategies and operational initiatives. The Thomson Corporation's common shares are listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges (TSX: TOC–News; NYSE: TOC–News).