Contract Research Organization Market – Global Industry Insights, Market Size Estimation and Growth Forecast By Service Type (Clinical Operations, Clinical Data Management (CDM), Pharmacovigilance (PV), Laboratory Services and others) and Regions, 2017 – 2025

Contract Research Organization Market or CRO Market - Introduction

The contract research organization market or CRO market is expected to experience a strong growth rate in coming years. Contract research organization market is segmented in terms of service type, and geography. Clinical research is that part of science which deals with evaluating the safety and efficacy of a drug or medical device or a medical procedure, prior to it being widely marketed or accepted. It involves several processes and is a long drawn process. CRO’s primarily provides service for such processes to various pharmaceutical and related companies, for bringing a new drug or medical device, among others, to the market. CROs also aids in pharmacovigilance activities for a marketed drug or related products.CRO services are being provided by several organizations currently, many of which are multinational companies and are also capable of providing a host of services. Some organizations are present locally, in the country where it was founded, and specialize in specific parts of the clinical research process. They may also be provider of end-to-end services to their clients.


Report Overview
Aspect Details
Base Year of Estimation 2016
Value Estimation Year 2017
Forecast Period 2017 - 2025
Market Segmentations By service type, region
Regional Scope North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (MEA) and South America
Report Coverage Technology Analysis, Market Dynamics, Market Trends, Segmentation Overview and Competitive Landscape of the market


Market Segmentation Overview
By Term Segments
By Service Type Clinical operations, clinical data management (CDM), pharmacovigilance (PV), laboratory services and others
By Region North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (MEA) and South America


Technology Analysis

In the clinical research industry, one of the most important aspect is the capturing of patient data on the case report form (CRF). While previously paper based CRF was being used, the industry has slowly shifted to electronic CRF (eCRF), with very less percentages of trials being still conducted on paper CRF. CRO’s are an important stakeholder in the process of data capture, as they provide services such as development of the eCRF and verification of the data being captured on the eCRF among others. Additionally, several CRO’s are laying stress on becoming digital CRO (dCRO). dCRO’s utilize higher amount of technology, thus aiding in minimizing human error and utilization of fewer amount of resources also. dCRO’s are based upon technology as a platform and requires fewer and skilled personnel to perform the job effectively, thus reducing the cost of the clinical trial while saving valuable time.


Market Dynamics

As of 2016, growth in demand for CRO services is driven by factors including rising number of clinical trials globally, rising cost of clinical trials and growing demand for exporting of clinical trial services among others.

With the rising population and increasing number of drug resistant microbes, increasing demand for better drugs and devices, there is a growth in the number of clinical trials being conducted.

With the growing population globally and rising number of drug resistant microbes, coupled with increasing demand for better drugs and medical devices, there is a huge growth in the number of clinical trials being conducted globally. Such increase in number of clinical trials has been promoting the demand for contract research organization market. Additionally, the growing cost for clinical trials has been forcing several organizations to make a shift and opt for CRO services.

Utilizing CRO services allows the pharmaceutical companies and related organizations to concentrate on their key competencies, while minimizing the cost of conducting clinical trials, and hence has been promoting the growth of this market.

A leading U.S. based pharmaceutical company had outsourced their global clinical research process operations.

Furthermore, most drug and medical device developers are currently opting for CRO services, considering that the CROs provides end-to-end service, from start of the clinical trials to submission of the dossier to regulatory authorities for approval. In 2011, Pfizer, Inc., a leading U.S. based pharmaceutical company, outsourced their global clinical research operations to two leading CROs namely ICON and Parexel, in a five-year deal. The deal was again renewed in 2016, reinstating the convenience of exporting clinical trial services to a CRO.

However, growing stringency government regulations have been restraining the growth of the Contract research organization market, as heavy penalties are being imposed for any errors, and hence the time taken for completion of a trial is significantly increased. Also, several fraudulent activities by some CROs has been diminishing the faith of pharmaceutical companies, in availing CRO services. The growing adoption of technology however has been severely aiding in minimizing errors and hence is expected to provide significant opportunities for growth of the Contract research organization market during the forecast period.


Market Trends

In recent years, most CROs are striving to provide end-to-end services, since their customers prefer to outsource the whole clinical trial process to a singular company instead to outsourcing each aspect of the trial to different companies. Such trend is expected to give rise to several major players and hence the competition can be expected to intensify, amongst the CRO service providers, during the forecast period from 2017 – 2025.


Segmentation Overview

By service type, the CRO market has been segmented into clinical operations, clinical data management (CDM), pharmacovigilance (PV), laboratory services and others. Clinical operations segment was the largest segment in 2016 and is expected to remain the dominant segment during the forecast period. The leading position can be attributed to the diverse services and long term contracts associated with the services in this segment.

By geography, the Contract research organization market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (MEA) and South America. In terms of revenue, Asia Pacific held the largest share of the contract research organization market. Growth of Asia Pacific CRO market is driven by relatively lower cost of conducting clinical trials and availability of larger patient pool among others. North America is expected to remain the second largest market for CRO services by end of 2025.


Competitive Landscape

Leading players operating in the contract research organization market are QuintilesIMS(The U.S.), Parexel International (The U.S.), ICON Plc(Republic of Ireland), Pharmaceutical Product Development LLC (The U.S.), Covance Inc. (The U.S.), Charles River Laboratories, Inc. (The U.S.), INC Research(The U.S.) and Worldwide Clinical Trials (The U.S.). In most region of the world, there are multiple local players who offerCRO services and these companies held significant share of regional market as of 2016. Leading players such as QuintilesIMS and Parexel focus on collaborating with large pharmaceutical companies through long term contracts.



Considering the growing demand for better drugs and increasing trend of exporting clinical research services, the market for CRO services is estimated to experience significant growth during the forecast period, from 2017 – 2025.

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What will be the nature of growth of the market till 2025?
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What are the growth possibilities in different segments of the market?
Who are the leading market players?
What are the key strategies implemented by the market leaders to sustain growth in the market?
What are the major restraining factors for the market?
What are the ways to generate new revenue streams?
In-depth analysis of the competitive landscape and competitor behavior in the market


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