Seeking Alpha

High profile patent expirations have drug companies balancing smaller research budgets against pressure to increase the number of commercialized drugs.

This dynamic is shifting the drug maker's focus from expensive internal research to outsourcing solutions from Contract Research Organizations ("CRO's) like Icon Plc (ICLR).

The three catalysts likely to support Icon going forward include:

1. Drug makers will continue to outsource research and development to curb costs amid patent expiration.

2. New outsourcing services and emerging market R&D increases the company's addressable market.

3. Attractive share price metrics versus CRO peers.

The Industry

Last year, drug spending sank 1%, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. That marked the first ever decline in drug spending on...

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