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Industry adapts to outsourcing trend

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Marketers need to be aware of major changes taking place in pharmaceutical manufacturing, research and development, processing and global operations, said Navi Radjou, VP of Forrester Research.

For instance, the industry is facing a crisis in innovation-despite the fact that pharmas spend billions of dollars a year on R&D-and drug companies want vendors to become active partners in the drug development process, he said. Radjou talked with BtoB about how marketers can get involved.

BtoB: Are the major pharmaceutical companies starting to outsource innovation?

Radjou: Many industries have seen a sharp increase in the outsourcing of manufacturing, to both domestic and overseas facilities. Pharma has been no different. But what's new is that they are indeed beginning to outsource drug design to specialized laboratories. This is happening in the U.S. and abroad. For instance, Pfizer recently announced that it's outsourcing clinical trials to India, where, believe it or not, the population demonstrates greater diversity and thus more global accuracy for drug trials. Additionally, by taking drug development into international markets, pharmas like Pfizer can get a better look at the growing competition from, say, Asian drug companies that have already gained a strong foothold in making generic drugs and want to break into patented name-brand drugs.

BtoB: What does this mean for pharmaceutical vendors?

Radjou: For those providing R&D and manufacturing equipment and services, it may mean that they'll have opportunities to become great stakeholders in drug development. But it will also require them to begin thinking globally, too. Additionally, I see a growing demand for such things as collaboration and product life cycle management software-or any technologies or processes that help the pharmas manage these new partnerships. They don't know much about it and will need all the help they can get to achieve extended operations excellence.

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