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In the process industries, manufacturing requirements for an individual company can vary significantly over time due to lengthy research and development timelines and differences in market demand compared to forecasts. In pharmaceuticals, for example, companies may not have the capital or desire to invest in and build a manufacturing plant for their products as their expertise lies in research and development. Whether a smaller biotech or a large-scale producer, they must also contend with patent expirations on their most profitable drugs. These uncertainties for both big and small pharma have led to a significant increase in outsourcing of clinical and commercial manufacturing to contract manufacturing organizations or CMOs. While the pharmaceutical industry has seen a dramatic increase of projects being outsourced in recent years, contract manufacturing is also prevalent in many other industries including food and beverage, semiconductors, and upstream oil and gas.


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