Clinical research has changed the face of modern medicine. Fifty years ago, at the end of World War II, physicians had little ability to effectively treat or prevent any of the deadliest diseases. Most of the staples of modem medicine we enjoy today were still unknown: antibiotics, vaccines for polio and several other severe infections, most hormone replacements and steroid therapy, effective drug therapies for cancer and psychotic illnesses, testing for genetic disorders, coronary bypass surgery, transplanted organs, and artificial joints. These and Other successes have encouraged public enthusiasm for Clinical research and belief in the potency of modern medicine.
A significant portion of R&D budgets are spent on outsourcing services (domestic and/or international) offered by the CRO industry, approximately $16 billion in 2012. This figure is expected to grow at 15% over the next seven years and should increase further with the broadening of the spectrum of services outsourced to cover the entire value chain. As outsourced services in developing countries such as China and India move up the value chain to cover phase 1/2 trials, the total contracts value may increase to $20 billion by 2015. Furthermore, certain therapeutic areas within pharmaceutical development are due for an even greater rate of growth, namely the Oncology class, expected to see continued growth of upwards of 21% over the next few years due to the large target market, strong unmet medical need, and overwhelming number of drugs currently in development (667 for cancer vs. 252 for CNS disorders, 206 for cardiovascular disorders, and 186 for infections).