The Future of Clinical Service Provider-Sponsor Relationships - Pharmaceutical Technology

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The Future of Clinical Service Provider-Sponsor Relationships
The author analyzes the results of a survey that polled pharmaceutical executives and managers about both sides of the outsourcing relationship. Read this and other preferred organization articles in this special issue.

Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 35, pp. s30-s41


The results of the 2010 Avoca industry survey illustrate widespread recognition of the need for efficient and high-performing outsourcing practices in the clinical drug-development industry. Feedback provided in this survey suggests that both sponsor and clinical service provider companies currently are making, or intend soon to make, wide-ranging changes in the way they conduct their outsourcing business. Among the changes planned or underway, major themes that emerged include the consolidation of outsourcing activities within long-term preferred-provider relationships, higher expectations of these relationships, and increased investment in formal measurement and management of performance and relationship quality.

The potential benefits associated with such changes in approach appear to be appreciated by sponsors and clinical service providers alike, and based on the data collected, each of these changes appears already to be underway within the industry. Both direct reports from respondents about their experiences, and associations in the data between the use of these approaches and increased satisfaction with provider performance and value, suggest that these approaches, when implemented in a high-quality manner, do in fact yield greater outsourcing quality, value, and overall relationship satisfaction.

Denise Calaprice-Whitty, PhD, is executive director of survey research at the Avoca Group, 179 Nassau St., Suite 3A, Princeton, NJ 08542, tel. 909.337.2848,


1. Avoca Group, "The 2009 Avoca Report: Trends in Clinical Outsourcing" (Princeton, NJ, 2009)

2. Avoca Group, "The 2010 Avoca Report: Trends in Clinical Outsourcing" (Princeton, NJ, 2010)


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