Updated on 31 May 2012
Aside from the dynamic environment, fresh challenges and greater freedom, switching to contract organizations is likely to be a wise strategic career move in the long term.
Mr Schwietert advises, "Working on both sides of contracting and partnering is going to become more common. You will be much better placed if you have worked in and understood both. Do it for your own development."
Despite being a convert to the working culture at contract organizations, Dr Kureishi cautions those looking to make the move to consider whether the new role is right for them. "I would advise potential candidates to look carefully at the role they will be moving to. In the service industry, there are many innovative activities going on such as consulting and strategic drug development. However, the core activity is still the delivery of contract research services."
The flow of specialized R&D personnel and general managers from the pharmaceutical industry into contract organizations is a very real trend and looks set to continue and grow over the coming years.
Speaking about the future of partnerships between pharma and contract organizations, Mr Barnes says, "Relationships will become broader and cover more complex technology as the contract service sector gains pharma companies' trust. By improving its understanding and breadth of capabilities, the outsourcing industry can satisfy its customers' needs more effectively.
"The winners in this field will be those organizations capable of partnering through the use of specialist technology. This technology will provide the marketplace with innovative ways to bridge the gap between novel APIs discovered via the R&D pipelines of the pharma industry, and patient efficacy offered by technologies supplied by companies in the service sector that have demonstrated innovation in their manufacturing methods."
Talking about the future of the pharmaceutical industry, Dr Kureishi concludes, "I think strategic partnerships will be very important, especially in the field of drug development. Companies that focus on their strengths while partnering in other areas are very likely to thrive in the changing and increasingly complex pharma landscape."