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Pharma knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) involves contracting with consultants for research and development information in the pharmaceutical industry at a lower cost. The outsourcing often occurs in a foreign country, where educated professionals conduct research and create databases drug companies use to sell products or create new medicines. Pharma KPO might also involve research in legal areas, patents, information technology, clinical research, and brand studies for drug companies.
Outsourcing these services might save drug manufacturers money by reducing operating costs. Pharma KPO typically means savings in salaries in countries where average pay is lower. It might also address a shortage of educated and skilled researchers in the country where the pharmaceutical firm is based. Teams of biologists, chemists, and information technology experts typically perform the research needed by drug companies.
Pharma KPO might provide these companies with information to lower costs when developing new medicines by using statistics from the industry. Databases might also reveal buying habits of consumers and recommend ways to cross-sell additional products by analyzing how people shop. Software used in pharma KPO applies specifically to the drug industry.
Services typically provided by outsourcing firms include analyzing market share of the pharmaceutical company and its competitors. Using special software, a KPO consultant might explore trends in drug sales to help the client increase sales. The company might use the data to develop action plans or determine if additional research is required.
Pharma KPO can be broken down into certain geographical areas or specific types of drugs. This might help a drug manufacturer identify target areas where certain medicines sell well. It might also show a need for increased marketing among a certain segment of the population or particular region. Brand identification in each region, and the specific drugs doctors tend to prescribe, represent other common services sought through pharma KPO.
In the research and development arena, a drug company might outsource the task of developing databases in specific areas. These might include the ability to research a certain disease or current discoveries in the field of medicine. Through data mining, a drug firm might access new patent information to stay abreast of competitors.
Text mining programs are another service provided by pharma KPO. Custom search engines might enable companies to use keywords to extract specific clinical research information, including chemical and biological advances in medicine. They typically provide access to published studies and scientific literature posted on the Internet.