However, I think outsourcing just reflects a bigger issue, namely the globalization of science. And, what you’re seeing is more and more of these big companies setting up R&D institutes in emerging markets. It’s not a new trend, but it really has accelerated over the past five years; right now, almost every major pharmaceutical firm has a research center in China, India or both.
ASBMB: What advantage would that offer as opposed to simply contracting?
Soll: When the executives in the pharmaceutical industry look at the growth of these emerging markets, they see not only a new scientific workforce, but also potential new clients. By establishing a foothold in these markets, they can take on new initiatives by companies to identify regional therapeutics in addition to making it easier to sell their existing products.
Nick Zagorski (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a science writer at ASBMB.