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Internal CROs Bring Outsourcing In-House

The percentage of clinical budgets that sponsors allocate to outsourcing often swings like a pendulum: increasing for a few years and then decreasing, only to increase again a few years later. Currently, the pendulum is swinging toward increased levels of outsourcing.

However, some organizations have found that they can enjoy some of the benefits of outsourcing while keeping a higher percentage of work in-house by building clinical research units (CRUs) or clinical science units (CSUs) to act as internal CROs. CRUs/CSUs act and perform like external CROs. They sit apart from clinical teams, make bids on work, and must continue to evolve to compete with vendors. But these groups have the advantage of structuring themselves to match the needs, concerns and culture of their internal clients.

By Eric Bolesh,
Director of Research

Despite that advantage, one interviewed clinical executive revealed that, “for some projects, the CRUs are competitive, but for other projects, they are not. Recently, we received two bids for a project and the internal CRU was just not as competitive, so we went outside the company.”

While some companies’ internal “vendors” are well established, CRUs/CSUs are a relatively new enterprise. At one company, for example, CRU units only win about 10% of total trial budgets, and external CROs still receive the lion’s share.

To learn more about the research findings in Cutting Edge Information’s Clinical Outsourcing report, download the summary here.

Eric Bolesh
Senior Director of Product Development

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