Anecdotally, it would seem that pharmaceutical companies are increasingly outsourcing pieces of their operations to Contract Research Organizations (CROs) as a means to cut costs in their drug development pipelines. Further it seems that these CROs are often more biotech-like, developing platforms that can handle the throughput demands of many partners.
Is this actually a widespread phenomenon, and what are its pros and cons? Are there any particular examples/counter-examples that are worth of note? And what are the repercussions of this outsourcing process?