CRO Market

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CRO Market

CRO industry revenue was estimated at $21.6 billion for 2013 and is expected to reach $23.6 billion in 2014, representing one-third of drug development spending, according to Industry Standard Research. Please note that estimates of industry size can vary as the definition of "CRO" and the scope of services included in market size may differ from source to source.

According to the independent Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, clinical trials conducted by CROs are completed an average of 30 percent more quickly than those conducted in-house. This results in an average time savings of some four to five months, translating to $120 million to $150 million in increased revenue potential.

ACRO member companies employ approximately 95,000 people worldwide. Each year our members conduct more than 11,000 clinical trials in 115 countries involving nearly two million research partitipants. 

ACRO memebr companies have contributed to the development of all of the top 50 selling bipharmaceutical products globally and the participate in the development of the vast majority of new treatments and therapies approved globally each year.

The top five therapeutic areas for CROs are: oncology, CNS, infectious disease, metabolic disorders and cardivascular disease. Vaccine development is another growing area of research for CROs.  

ACRO member companies manage nearly one million square feet of laboratory space, process more than 16 million samples each year and deliver more than 60 million individual test results. 

Approximately two-thirds of CRO business is from the pharmaceutical industry, 27 percent from biotech and the remainder funded by the medical device, foundation and government sectors.

Approximately 46 percent of clinical trials are conducted in the United States, 30 percent in Europe and the remainder in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. An analysis of data quality that appeared in the Drug Information Journal found that there were no statistically significant differences in data quality between or among regions or countries*.


*Desai, P., Anderson, C., & Sietsema, W. (2012). A comparison of the quality of data assessed using query rates, from clinical trials conducted across developed versus emerging global regions. Drug Information Journal, 46(4), 455-463.