It’s hard to push against the tide, but it’s high time for an open discussion on how we manage clinical development sourcing. 

A Call to Action

If two heads are better than one, how good would one hundred heads be?   

We’d like to hear your thoughts and opinions on what’s right, wrong or plain broken within the life science industry’s approach to clinical development outsourcing.   

So please make comments if you agree or (perhaps more importantly) disagree with our observations.  We’d love to hear your challenges. 

Recently Will Sillar and Rob Aitchison have spent many enjoyable hours talking with some of the most experienced clinical sourcing professionals in the industry about our approach to clinical development sourcing and procurement.   

Our summary from these conversations is as follows: 

  • A clear consensus that we must change. 
  • An appetite to explore novel approaches. 
  • Limited radical innovation being proposed. 

Fundamentally we are maintaining outdated sourcing and oversight models which will not be fit to meet industry demands for the next five, ten and twenty years.  In our opinion there needs to be a radical change in our thinking, our attitudes and our approach. 

The Case for Change:

Rob Aitchison, Head of R&D Outsourcing Advisory, has laid out his views on why it is important to review this, and why now.  The full article can be found here but the key points can be summarised as follows. 

Low Trust Levels: 

  • Despite best efforts on both side, extensive performance and delivery issues maintains a sense of deep mistrust between the parties. 

Extreme Macroeconomic Factors: 

  • Financial and global legislation are having sustained and permanent impact on development costs, as well as potential returns on investment. 
  • Stagnant Outsourcing Models 
  • There has been very little innovation in approaches to clinical sourcing, whilst other industries have embraced change. 

Balance of Power: 

  • Porters 5 Forces suggest there is a high degree of inequality in the power balance between the parties. 

What has he missed…or do you think these miss the mark? 

Don’t Bring Me Problems…Bring Me Solutions: 

Taking learnings from successful industry sectors that have implemented innovative sourcing strategies, and achieved paradigm shifts in delivery efficiency, 4C Associates has been developing a new approach which is based on other complex Business Process Outsourcing models.  We call this the Cellular Services Model.  In other industries, approaches of this kind delivered efficiencies of up to 40%, and we think they will address the key concerns outlined above. 

Get in touch with Rob Aitchison if you would like to join the conversation and contribute to introducing a new approach to clinical outsourcing in your organisation.