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Pharmaceutical and Clinical Trials Logistics – How obesity is driving market growth in the US: Will the UK and Europe follow?

In recent conversations with a number of our clients involved in clinical trials’ logistics in the UK and internationally, it is clear that the pick-up in activity in the US is considerably ahead of the rest of the world. We asked why.

There are a number of reasons, but there is a key contributor.

Obesity is on the rise globally. A recent study carried out by a network of scientists from around the world, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), found the number of obese people worldwide has surpassed one billion, with 879 million adults and 159 million children living with obesity in 2022.   With an estimated 2.8 million people dying from obesity-related diseases every year, there is a clear need for the development of effective interventions.

In the West, recent developments in weight-management control have been concentrated within the United States, where, with around 110 million adults living with obesity, demand for weight-management drugs is accelerating. This is the area that appears to be spearheading the rise in clinical trials activity and the considerable increase in the necessary specialty logistics to support that.

In North America, the field is growing rapidly, where the Clinical Trails market size was estimated at $40.85 billion in 2023 and is projected to hit around $73.16 billion by 2033.

With the clinical trial market in a state of flux, it is an exciting time to be involved in that field. But the UK and Europe needs to keep up with the US, which is a world-leader in clinical trials, driven, in part, to innovation in these medicines for weight-management.

Demand for weight-management medicines is already on the rise in Europe. Drugmakers are reaching record highs after soaring sales of obesity and diabetes drugs. The obesity drugs boom is turning drugmakers into even bigger players – Novo Nordisk’s market value past $500 billion recently and is now Europe’s most valuable company.

The rapidly evolving pharmaceutical and clinical trial landscape is leading to greater demand for contract research organisations (CROs). Full service CROs offer a full range of services for clinical trials, including assistance with patient recruitment, safety surveillance, reporting, site audits, data management, and more.

The Pharma and Life Sciences industry is supported by a number of underlying drivers, including growth in R&D, the rise of data and technology, and global market dynamics.

As such, many pharmaceutical companies in the UK and Europe are increasingly looking to contract partners for R&D and clinical trial support.

With extensive market and strategy experience, Bailey Montagu has supported clients in this field. We assist companies in the hiring of clinical supply chain specialists, commercial directors, and other specialist talent, so they remain competitive.

Having supported several key players in the specialty logistics market for a number of years, we regularly make introductions from our network, both in terms of highly skilled professionals, but also of small rapidly growing clinical developers seeking new partnerships, to our established client providers of specialist logistics services.

With increasing demand in this area, and the ever-increasing requirements, both of a technical and compliance nature, Bailey Montagu understand the needs and can provide valuable and insightful partnerships providing comprehensive search services to support growth and complexity.

Andrew Linger