NEWS16 September 2009

IMS offers outsourcing services to drugs companies

New business North America

US— IMS Health has been cutting costs internally through outsourcing and offshoring. Now it is looking to do the same for its pharmaceutical clients.

The healthcare data and analytics firm has struck a partnership with India’s Tata Consultancy Services to establish an offshore delivery centre which aims to provide outsourced analytics services to support drugs companies’ sales, marketing and managed markets activities.

IMS chief executive David Carlucci (pictured) said the new client offer is “a natural extension of the evidence-based decision support we provide”.

The company expanded its use of outsourcing, including offshoring some of its consulting and services delivery resources, in 2008 as part of a cost-cutting drive that also involved a 10% reduction in global headcount. Efforts continued this year, as the firm announced another round of job cuts.

Wider economic woes have contributed to the malaise in the pharmaceutical sector – which has affected IMS – but the industry has its own unique challenges to contend with, including competition from cheap generic alternatives to branded drugs, safety concerns and an increasingly tense regulatory environment.

IMS has named company veteran Donald Otterbein to lead the knowledge process outsourcing offer as general manager of business transformation services.

Otterbein said savings generated through outsourcing would enable drugs companies to “redirect resources toward scientific innovation and growth initiatives”.