Capacity Planning Is Becoming a Critical Success Factor for Drug Developers

Capacity Planning Is Becoming a Critical Success Factor for Drug Developers, According to Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development 
BOSTON, MA -- 01/26/10 -- Growing pressure within the research-based drug industry to bring new products to market faster and more efficiently is transforming clinical trial capacity planning and forecasting from an important area of concern to a critical success factor, according to a panel of pharmaceutical and biotech industry leaders recently convened by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.

While blockbuster drug sales previously did much to assure overall company success, financial health today depends on companies getting more products to market under tighter budgets, the group noted.

Kenneth I Kaitin, director of Tufts CSDD, said, "Most drug companies historically decentralized their approach to capacity forecasting, which made it difficult to coordinate scarce resources. Going forward, companies recognize the need to transform capacity planning into a core competence based on an accurate understanding of resource costs."

He explained that because each company's approach to determining costs has been driven by its own experiences, and because costs often could be recouped through new product revenues, there has been little incentive to develop consistent cost measures across the drug development industry.

Over the last decade clinical trial protocol design has become more complex and trials take longer to complete. For example, according to a recent Tufts CSDD study, total time from protocol design readiness to data lock rose 70%, from 460 to 780 days, between the early and mid 2000s.

The pharmaceutical and biotech executives, who convene several times a year at the Tufts CSDD Executive Forum Roundtable Series, also agreed that:

--  Capacity planning needs to become a core competence for developers,
    regardless of how much development work they outsource to contract research

--  Their success will depend, as much as possible, on accurate capacity
    forecasts from the start of each project, to minimize delays, cost
    overruns, and disruptions.


Upcoming Tufts CSDD Executive Forum Roundtable meetings will focus on the following:

Feb. 25, 2010 - Improving ROI and Late Stage Clinical Success Rates
May 13, 2010 - Strategies for Managing Drug Development Risk: Maintaining
Portfolio Diversity
Sept. 16, 2010 - Outsourcing Strategies Across the Value Chain
Nov. 4, 2010 - Strategies for Optimizing the Drug Development Process

To learn more, call 617-636-2170.


The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development ( at Tufts University provides strategic information to help drug developers, regulators, and policy makers improve the quality and efficiency of pharmaceutical development, review, and utilization. Tufts CSDD, based in Boston, conducts a wide range of in-depth analyses on pharmaceutical issues and hosts symposia, workshops, and public forums, and publishes Tufts CSDD Impact Reports, a bi-monthly newsletter providing analysis and insight into critical drug development issues.

Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development
Peg Hewitt
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