We work with researchers from big and large pharma to discover new CROs and outsource drug discovery. Whether they have worked with a handful of CROs or none at all, tech savvy scientists are adopting the internet as their tool for outsourcing drug discovery. Despite the enthusiasm of these users, the companies they work for are more resistant to innovation through better outsourcing and vendor relationship management. Here are 5 barriers slowing down innovations in outsourcing drug discovery:

barriers to outsourcing drug discovery


It’s becoming easier to effective outsource drug discovery, but mental and organizational barriers are slowing down wide adoption.

1) Uncertainty: Any changes to the status quo are often accompanied by fear of the unknown. Why is this changing? How does this affect me? I don’t want to learn something new. This is the overwhelming thought process for employees, whether they are a researcher, procurement, or IT. The perceived negative connotation of outsourcing strikes fear in the hearts of all, as other industries have felt the bite through job losses. Education about outsourcing trends fight uncertainty; many new tools to outsource drug discovery improve experimental workflow and vendor communication, rather than threaten jobs. It is a matter of learning how to take advantage of outsourcing than be a victim of it.

2) Integrating with current processes: Established processes are important to a smoothly run company and employees become familiar with their role in the workflow. Supplementing or replacing an existing process could be great innovation, but it breaks this continuity and requires assessment of the new system. If the new way of outsourcing drug discovery proves to be far more effective, managers need to revise the workflow and train their teams. Given the amount of change being introduced, pharmaceutical companies are extra careful about new processes and will take as long as it takes before the critical step of company adoption.

3) CRO Training: The market for CROs and outsourcing drug discovery is expected to grow annually, but some CROs are unconvinced about the new ways of finding leads. Traditional business development calls for trade shows, print publication, banner ads, and having a website. These are viable ways of getting your name out there, but the reality is that innovation in outsourcing will predominantly come from the customer, not the CRO. Pharma has incentive to pick the best CROs and CROs have incentive to be the company that is picked; who has the upper hand in this relationship? As more CROs adopt new types of pharmaceutical outsourcing platforms, they will be able to showcase their qualities and capabilities much more aptly.

We look forward to seeing the new innovations in outsourcing drug discovery from the industry. We’re excited to be working with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and other organizations on developing enterprise Research Exchanges.