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European Pharmaceutical Contractor

the 38th Annual Meeting of The Drug Information Association, Chicago

The Drug Information Association (DIA) held its 38th Annual Meeting in June. It was attended by about 7,000 delegates and included a large exhibition with approximately 475 exhibitors. The scale of the meeting, with sessions covering 29 interest areas, often made it difficult to choose which session to attend, so this report refers to those that I did attend, with apologies to all the others that I missed.

The first session included views from three business analysts on the CRO market. The overall trend is a return to financial stability and health within the market, exemplified by the (then) potential IPO of Inveresk. The CRO market was projected as US$9.3 billion for 2003, with the greatest increase expected in Phase II and IV clinical trials.

A recurring theme from all of the analysts was the importance of quality of service as a success factor for CROs. The relationship between the pharmaceutical sponsor and the CRO is often tested, as clinical research services are frequently purchased as a commodity, thereby removing the capacity to develop trust between the two parties. One speaker suggested that the length of the contracts used in these transactions is indicative of the lack of trust in the relationship.


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By Julia Lloyd-Parks, Senior Consultant at Technomark Consulting Services Ltd

Julia Lloyd-Parks joined Technomark as a Senior Consultant at the beginning of 2001.

She has worked within the pharmaceutical industry for 20 years, mostly in clinical research operations, with some time spent in project management and medical information fields. She has worked for several companies, including Syntex, Innovex and Novartis.

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