Magazine Article | March 5, 2014

A CRO Awards Program With No Strings Attached

Source: Life Science Leader
Rob Wright author page

By Rob Wright, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader
Follow Me On Twitter @RfwrightLSL

At Life Science Leader magazine, it is our pleasure to announce the third annual 2014 CRO Leadership Awards winners. Unlike other award programs where there can be only one winner per category, our awards list all the CROs that scored in the top 20 percent for the following categories — quality, reliability, innovation, productivity, and regulatory. Furthermore, there is not an overall CRO leadership award winner. Let me explain why we’ve taken this approach.

Life Science Leader’s annual CRO Leadership Awards are determined by industry-leading market research conducted by Nice Insight. More than 40,000 pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical executives responsible for making or influencing their company’s outsourcing decisions are invited to participate in Nice Insight’s annual survey. This year’s survey received over 10,000 responses. To be clear, the survey is not a solicitation for respondents to nominate their “favorite” CRO for an award. Rather, the survey is designed to gather a wide variety of industry-related information. Responses are compiled and analyzed to identify awareness and perception scores for CROs serving the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry. Thus, Life Science Leader magazine’s CRO Leadership Awards don’t involve a nomination, ballot, or judging process. There is no “entry fee” required to participate. There is no award-processing fee stating, “Congratulations on winning. To claim your award, please send a check in the amount of ____ to cover the cost of shipping and handling.” We don’t require award winners to advertise. Heck, we don’t even charge the award-winning CROs for the alphabetical listing which details their services and contact information in our magazine! You may be wondering, if not to make money, then why do we do it? Well, feedback from Life Science Leader’s executive-level readers indicates a high level of confusion among executives regarding CRO selection approaches and, consequently, a strong desire for information on what their peers think of a wide range of CROs. This leads me to a reader-driven change for the awards this year. Not all pharma and biopharm companies look alike or function alike. Emerging bio companies have different needs and goals than Big Pharma does and vice versa. We have separated the response data into four segments: Big Pharma, emerging pharma, biotech, and emerging biotech. Now the companies in these segments can see what their peers in the same segment think of the CROs in each perception category. This data can then help steer them to CROs that have experience with their type of company.

Last year, I received a number of emails and phone calls regarding the announcement of the 2013 CRO Leadership Awards. Winners were understandably skeptical. It is a rare thing for a company to develop an awards program that doesn’t have some sort of strings attached. It is even rarer to create an award free of undue influence. Nevertheless, this is exactly what we have tried to do at Life Science Leader magazine. So join me in congratulating all of this year’s CRO Leadership Award winners! It’s a job well done and well deserved. You’ve earned it.