Member Survey Shows CRO Industry Growth

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New ACRO Member Survey Shows Growth of CRO Industry
Captures Range and Scope of Drug Development Services

October 3, 2011 – WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO), which represents the global leaders in clinical outsourcing, today reported that its members have expanded their payroll by 122 percent in the past 10 years and now account for over 72,000 jobs both in the United States and abroad. ACRO attributes this job growth to the 156 percent increase in revenues since the association was founded in 2001, a compound annualized rate of 11 percent. These are two of the key findings from the latest member profile survey.

“The capability of ACRO members to provide the full spectrum of drug development services required to bring new medicines to market has led to tremendous growth in the industry over the past 10 years,” said Joe Herring, ACRO Chairman, and Chairman and CEO of Covance. “The biopharmaceutical industry has recognized our efficiency, quality and commitment to research ethics, and ACRO members now constitute a large – and growing – share of the global drug development infrastructure.”

Among other survey findings, ACRO members in 2010:

  • Conducted more than 11,500 clinical trials, involving two million research participants in 114 countries, from Albania to Zimbabwe;
  • Contributed to the development of all of the top 20 selling prescription medicines and were involved in the development of at least 33 of 38 new medicines approved for use last year in the United States and Europe;
  • On average, conducted research on 300 unique developmental drugs and therapies, including multiple studies for diseases such as breast cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, asthma, HIV, influenza and hypertension.
  • Managed nearly one million square feet of accredited laboratory facilities on five continents that handled over 16 million samples and processed in excess of two million bioanalytical assays.

“At a time when many people are asking ‘where are the jobs?’ we have a clear answer with the tremendous growth that CROs have experienced over the past 10 years,” said Doug Peddicord, PhD, Executive Director of ACRO. “Our members continue to expand the range and scope of their services, from drug discovery through post-approval studies, developing deep expertise in complex areas like vaccines, biosimilars, comparative effectiveness research, and regenerative medicine.”

About ACRO
The Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO) represents companies whose focus is clinical research. The association provides an active voice for the global CRO industry, which provides specialized services that are integral to the discovery and development of drugs, biologics, vaccines and medical devices. Through its member companies, ACRO helps improve the quality, efficiency and safety of biomedical research. ACRO member companies employ more than 72,000 professionals worldwide and lat year conducted more than 11,500 clinical trials involving nearly 2 million participants in 114 countries. For more information, please visit

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