Large Pharmaceutical Companies Are Outsourcing Drug Safety Monitoring Overseas

According to The Wall Street Journal (2/2, Mclain, Subscription Publication, 5.67M) more and more pharmaceutical companies are outsourcing their drug-monitoring operations to foreign countries like India. Outsourcing companies like Accenture are benefiting as major drug companies like AstraZeneca, Novartis, and Bristol-Myers Squibb contract out safety checks in order to lower costs and focus on R&D and marketing. The Journal goes on to explore in great depth the issues surrounding the practice, observing that some opponents of this type of work say that drug monitoring is hard to do, requiring significant experience, natural talent, and sufficient knowledge of biochemistry and pharmacology, and that the outsourcing trend brings greater risk that harmful side effects of drugs will be overlooked.