GVR Report cover Medical Affairs Outsourcing Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Medical Affairs Outsourcing Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Services (MSLs, Medical Writing & Publishing), By Industry (Pharmaceutical, Biopharmaceutical), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Report ID: GVR-3-68038-891-6
  • Number of Pages: 90
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Range: 2016 - 2019
  • Industry: Healthcare

Report Overview

The global medical affairs outsourcing market size was valued at USD 1.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2% over the forecast period. The market is growing at a significant rate due to the surge in clinical trials. According to the data published by the WHO in 2019, the annual number of registered clinical trials increased from 3,344 in 2004 to 54,894 in 2018. Thus, the registration of clinical trials has increased by about 22% from 2004 to 2018. Since medical affairs is a key support activity for a successful clinical trial, its increasing number is anticipated to drive the global market for medical affairs outsourcing over the forecast period.

The U.S. medical affairs outsourcing market size, by services, 2016 - 2028 (USD Million)

Furthermore, pharmaceutical and medical devices companies are outsourcing medical affairs services to the Contract Research Organizations (CROs) to limit the liability exposure by working with a well-trained outsource company, reduce operational costs, minimize regulatory compliance risk, and prevent process delays.

The global pandemic has adversely impacted nearly every industry and is also anticipated to impact industry growth during the projection period. The impact of COVID-19 has placed many regulatory and outsourcing teams under pressure. However, it also has had a positive impact on the bio/pharmaceutical outsourcing industry, wherein the demand for R&D activity is increasing leading to a rise in medical affairs assistance. This rising demand has caused various CROs to focus on their outsourcing and other operations.

Services Insights

Medical writing & publishing was the largest service segment in 2020 and accounted for a revenue share of 35%. Most of the big pharma companies are outsourcing their clinical data management to professional medical writing & publishing service providers. With the increasing number of diverse pharma products being launched in the market, the need for professional medical writers has increased drastically, which is estimated to support the segment growth.

The medical science liaisons (MSLs) segment is anticipated to register the fastest CAGR of 12.8% from 2021 to 2028. Medical science liaisons are medical specialists with advanced scientific training. They are experts in communicating complex medical information to a variety of stakeholders. As MSLs are majorly required after the product launch, it’s not cost-effective for pharmaceutical or medical device companies to keep MSLs on staff, which is a key factor driving the segment growth. Also, to overcome insufficient and non-uniform training, pharmaceutical & medical devices companies are expected to majorly outsource MSL activities to CROs over the forecast period.

Industry Insights

The pharmaceutical segment held the largest market share of over 52% in 2020 and is estimated to retain its leading position throughout the forecast years. Due to various patent expirations, the requirement of medical affairs service providers has increased for the preparation of drafts of new patents.

Global medical affairs outsourcing market share, by industry, 2020 (%)

The pharmaceutical industry has been experiencing slow growth, delayed drug approvals, and insufficiency in the pharma production supply chain has anticipated a long-term impact on the pharmaceutical sector due to the global pandemic. The biopharmaceutical segment is anticipated to register the fastest CAGR of over 13.5%. The biopharma industry is focusing more on the core activities related to drug development, which is expected to drive demand for medical affairs outsourcing services in the segment.

Regional Insights

North America was the leading regional market in 2020 and accounted for a revenue share of over 35%. The unavailability of medical affairs experts is a major challenge, which has encouraged biopharmaceutical and medical device companies based in North America to outsource certain functions to individuals with a high level of expertise in the domain.

Led by Germany, Europe is the second-largest regional market due to the presence of a skilled and experienced medical affairs workforce in the region. Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest-growing regional market over the forecast period owing to cost-efficient service offering by the CROs in the region. In addition, improved regulatory framework and availability of a skilled workforce are expected to drive the market growth.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

Most of the companies are focusing on various growth strategies, such as partnerships, merger & acquisitions, and product portfolio expansion to retain their market position. For instance, Parexel International Corp. acquired The Medical Affairs Company in 2017. In February 2020, Icon, Inc. announced the acquisition of MedPass International, a leading European medical device CRO, regulatory and reimbursement consultancy that specializes in medical device development and market access. This acquisition has strengthened the commercialization and medical affairs service offering of the company.

The global pandemic has adversely affected the biopharma and pharma industries. Hence companies are adopting various strategies to overcome this situation. For example, ICON has developed an integrated solution that provides functional services driven by overarching COVID-19 regulatory guidance. The company is providing a separate operational team to review study-specific plans and adopt the services needed to reduce disruption to trial timelines and stay compliant. Similar efforts are being put in by other market participants and their results are expected to be seen in the latter half of the year. Some of the prominent players in the medical affairs outsourcing market are:

  • ICON plc

  • IQVIA Holdings, Inc.

  • The Medical Affairs Company

  • Syneos Health, Inc.

  • Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC

  • Ashfield Healthcare Communications

  • Zeincro Group

  • Wuxi Clinical Development, Inc.

  • SGS S.A.

  • Indegene, Inc.

Medical Affairs Outsourcing Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 1.55 billion

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 3.47 billion

Growth rate

CAGR of 12.2% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Services, industry, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; MEA

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; U.K.; Germany; Italy; Spain; France; China; India; Japan; Australia; Korea; Brazil; Mexico; Argentina; South Africa; Saudi Arabia; UAE

Key companies profiled

ICON plc; IQVIA Holdings, Inc.; The Medical Affairs Company; Syneos Health, Inc.; Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC; Ashfield Healthcare Communications; Zeincro Group; Wuxi Clinical Development, Inc.; SGS S.A.; Indegene, Inc.

Customization scope

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global medical affairs outsourcing market report on the basis of services, industry, and region:

  • Services Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Medical Writing & Publishing

    • Medical Monitoring

    • Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs)

    • Medical Information

    • Others

  • Industry Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Pharmaceutical

    • Biopharmaceutical

    • Medical Devices

      • Therapeutic Medical Devices

      • Diagnostic Medical Devices

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • U.K.

      • Germany

      • France

      • Italy

      • Spain

    • Asia Pacific

      • Japan

      • China

      • India

      • Korea

      • Australia

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

      • Argentina

    • Middle East & Africa

      • South Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

      • UAE

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