Offshoring pharma/medical jobs

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Offshoring pharma/medical jobs

Postby Gregg » Thu Feb 24, 2005 12:29 pm

Projects don't fail because of labor costs - they fail because of bad management. The winners will be the culture that can make "project management" a career path, and not the job description of the first person to get laid off when a project is *successful.*

The rush to offshore has already slowed in other sectors, largely as a result of the weakening dollar which makes American labor cheaper. Plus there is also a cultural element - it takes practically a generation of immersion to understand the corporate and IP laws as well as the FDA regs. We've all seen bright people implode when they try to dabble in biotech. Think Martha Stewart !!! Martha isn't in jail thinking "Of course! I needed more outsourcing to China. That's where I went wrong!"

Offshoring pharma/medical jobs

Postby AR » Thu Feb 24, 2005 1:44 pm

?Clinical trials of new drugs, for instance, are already moving to countries in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, because the costs of conducting the trials are lower and human subjects can be recruited more easily.?

First of all does this scare anyone else in here? Isn?t the cost of conducting clinical trials high due to the heavy restrictions and guidelines set up by the FDA to protect patient safety? The FDA can?t even ensure my safety now (Vioxx). Am I supposed to trust the validity of a clinical trial conducted in Latin America?

Worst of all are these ?easily recruited human subjects?. These are people, not subjects. Do you trust that some sleazy pharma will be taking patient safety seriously outside of the US. I don't.

?Roche, the big Swiss drug company, just opened a research center in Shanghai to make use of Chinese scientists returning from abroad. "U.S. academia had been run by Chinese post-docs for the last 10 years, if not 15," said Jonathan Knowles, head of global research for Roche.?

Second of all, isn?t saying that Chinese post-docs have been ?running? US academia a little like saying that blacks ?ran? the south in the 1790?s.

?But now Aviva does most of its work in San Diego because the scientists in China could not grasp the needs of American researchers, said Jia Xu, vice president for research and development.?

Wait, I?m confused. They could not grasp the needs of American researchers? Aren?t these the same scientists who have been running US academia research for 15 years now?

Lastly, if anyone didn?t see this coming years ago you have had you head in the sand. I have envisioned for years now cheap overseas Biotech centers where PI?s contract out their experiments. This would be much cheaper than importing the labor.


Offshoring pharma/medical jobs

Postby PG » Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:46 pm

My guess would be that we will see offshoring of especially big pharma RnD in the coming years. The RnD performed at several of these companies is not very cost effective today and the alternative for offshoring research might be to stop doing basic research and aiming at buying product candidates from for example smaller biotech companies.

On the other hand I think that being closer to market and thereby getting better knowledge about what the market wants will create a growing biotech sector within US and other Western countries. It will be increasingly important to reach the market fast with products that are not just improvements of existing drugs but that are really new.
US is the only country in the world today were the complete biotech sector might give positive returns to investors in the near future. To achive this you will need investors as well as management with biotech experience that has a strong feeling for what the market wants. Here the US and some other western countries still has an advantage but it will not last forever.

Offshoring pharma/medical jobs

Postby Julia » Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:55 pm

I agree with AR; some of those statements were rather disturbing taken in that context. Personally, having worked with anti-HIV drugs at the lab level, I have always been distressed with the way some of the clinical trials for the anti-HIVs in Africa are conducted. Particularly the prevention of vertical transfer trials but also the recent "vaccine" trials in Asia. Some of these have skirted ethical guidelines rather tightly. I sincerely hope that this offshoring trend is primarily guided by a need for companies to cut production and R & D costs which I completely understand, they are, after all; businesses. But I worry that it is partly driven by the ability to get around ethical considerations. You can call me cynical here, but I just dont know.

What to do if these companies are subsidized by our U.S. government?

Postby Jim » Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:27 pm

Your thoughts?

What to do if these companies are subsidized by our U.S. government?

Postby Shawn » Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:38 pm

If the project is subsidized then I say no way to off shoring that project as that is tax payer money. However if its a company that recieves funding for certain projects I don't believe they should be restricted from getting full value for their money on non-subsidized projects.

What to do if these companies are subsidized by our U.S. government?

Postby Lora » Sat Feb 26, 2005 12:20 pm

What, you mean like the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rican pharma companies?

In fact, one of my learned colleagues upstairs is from Puerto Rico. She was a QA manager for a Pfizer manufacturing plant before she came here for her doctorate. She's quite brilliant, and of course fond of our taxation system.

And then there's companies that exist solely to support the Defense Department. Do they count when they move offshore or outsource jobs?

*shrug* As far as I can tell, governments and Boards of Directors do what they want to do, regardless of individual congresscritters' or R&D's thoughts on the subject.


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