The outsourcing trend rose among pharmaceutical companies to become a $30 billion business, according to new data from business intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information.

The firm says pharmaceutical companies must optimize supply chain processes to maintain growth and profits and this can be fulfilled through strategic outsourcing.

The second edition of “Outsourcing from Strength” contains 33 percent more information than the original, according to Cutting Edge, and discusses the latest trends in outsourcing initiatives and includes the most up-to-date 2003 data.

The study, available the firm’s website, reveals how companies have cut costs and streamlined operations by farming out their non-essential work. The report features practices from more than 50 companies across 20 industries, with a new focus on the pharmaceutical industry.

“The updated report for 2004 focuses on the latest trends among pharmaceutical outsourcing, which has seen high growth over the past several years,” says David Richardson, a senior analyst at Cutting Edge in Durham. “Pharmaceutical outsourcing has spread beyond basic manufacturing operations into overall supply chain management.”

The latest version profiles practices from top pharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer, Roche and Eli Lilly, as well as outsourcing practices from rising firms.

Cutting Edge: www.cuttingedgeinfo.com