Science With Purpose

3 Insourcing Models for Pharma Labs

June 17, 2020
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Often, pharmaceutical companies have reached outside their organization to contract service providers for help with discovery, development, and manufacturing. Others tap into their own in-house resources for support. Which is the better process? The short answer is there’s no right way, just your way.


The benefit of insourcing is that you’re consistently dealing with a trusted service partner embedded within your facility. Your work is kept in house, communications are face-to-face and happen in real time. Not to mention all work is performed within your IT infrastructure using all your equipment and resources.

Advantages include:

  • Full control over the process
  • Immediate access to results
  • Reduced time managing third parties
  • Optimized lab space
  • Timely communication of project deliverables


Some labs benefit from the flexibility, expertise, and technology that comes with outsourcing approaches. Of course, hidden costs are always associated with third parties – it’s less costly to manage a partner embedded in your organization than one located across the globe.

Outsourcing a contract research organization (CRO) or contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMO) is best when you’re working with:

  • Routine established workflows
  • Noncomplex samples
  • Less time-sensitive results

3 Types of Insourcing Models

If you decide to insource, there are several models to choose from, including staffing agencies, managed services, and lab as a service (LaaS).

Staffing agencies

This option provides qualified personnel for short-term needs to augment your staff for a specific project or find talent with a specific skill or area of expertise.

Managed services

In this model, the service partner brings its own people to provide services to achieve a guaranteed outcome – number of samples or experiments per day, for example.

Lab as a Service

LaaS brings everything required to deliver on the service-level agreement – from people and processes to consumables and instruments.

Whether you decide to insource or outsource, having a single vendor who understands your organization – from the management of assets to the oversight of IT to the harmonization of standards – is the key to success. A single-vendor solution simplifies processes when it comes to creating a single point of contact to manage oversight and communication.

READ MORE about pharma lab insourcing and outsourcing here.


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