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  • History

    Quintiles History in Hungary

    Our American parent company started its activities in Hungary in March 1996 with just a handful of staff members who, as the extended arms of the regional centre in Vienna, carried out monitoring on the clinical studies market which was, at that time, in its infancy in Hungary.

    By 1998, the company had a staff of 16 and in April of that year the Hungarian office of Quintiles was formally inaugurated in the presence of Chairman and CEO, Dr. Dennis Gillings, and regional director Dr. Heinz Carmann. The management appointed Dr. Sarolta Rónai director of the Hungary office. The first office was established in an attractive villa on Németvölgyi Road. The work of CRAs was assisted by clinical trial assistants.

    The Hungary office continued to expand and celebrated the appointment of the first local clinical team lead. In the same year, the company started the first clinical study that we carried out not on the commission of the global centre of a major multinational bio-pharmaceutical firm but for a Hungarian pharmaceutical company. The first team-building day was also staged, at which employees competed in a squash competition.

    2000 was an important milestone for the company not only because of the millennium but also because it marked the formation of the office as an Ltd., since when it has used the English title Quintiles Hungary Ltd. From 2000 Dr János Filakovszky took over the Hungary company. The company witnessed the start of dynamic growth in the first year of the millennium, as a consequence of which by the end of the year the company had increased the number of its staff and areas of expertise. In addition to CRAs and assistants the office had people working in many other areas (clinical team leads, line managers, project managers, medical advisors, clinical trainer, finance executive, office manager, IT and HR staff). We launched a study (the first of its kind in Central Europe) utilizing electronic data processing in a total of 12 sites.

    Over the next few years the office continued its pattern of growth until the point where the villa could no longer offer sufficient space for all the staff. In 2001 the company moved into new office space at the then just completed MOM Park. This office – by that time an influential factor at the regional level – attracted the attention of both the domestic and international regulatory authorities. In 2001 we underwent the first National Institute of Pharmacy inspection as well as an audit by Quintiles based on FDA inspection.

    The EMEA inspection of our office was the first in the region. We passed with flying colours, and this helped reinforce the faith the parent company and our clients had in our activities in Hungary. Furthermore, it served as a solid base for further development. The year 2002 witnessed two further important moments: the assembly of the senior management of Quintiles was organized by our office in Budapest, and for the first time we organized a business day for our partners where we were able to present our successes and the tasks for the years ahead.

    We reached our fifth year, which we celebrated – together with Regional Director Heinz Carmann – at a memorable party. The growth of previous years continued; by 2003 there were more than 40 people working in the office, and in its first five years the company had involved nearly 6600 patients in our studies with the help of some 600 study sites.

    Hungary was admitted as a fully fledged member of the European Union, which was of importance from the aspect of staging clinical studies, too. The by then extremely high standard licensing procedure became identical to European Union regulatory practice and from many aspects it simplified the arrangement of clinical studies in Hungary. In the same year Good Clinical Practice, which until then had been followed as a guideline only, became legally regulated in Hungary.

    In the next few years corporate growth took on new impetus, which led to many positive results. In 2005, in recognition of the outstanding significance of our office, the chairman and senior executive of the company once again visited Hungary. We also began the formation of the independent Study Start-up Unit in the interest of increasing efficiency in the office.

    Our intensive rate of expansion once again made it necessary for us to move. This time we created our base in the IP West office centre. One indication of the skills of our Hungarian staff was the fact that there was a significant increase in the number of our employees filling international positions: six staff members were appointed as international clinical team lead and four of our colleagues joined regional management.

    In 2007 our office had over 100 employees. In recognition of the outstanding work of our staff we presented CRA of the Year and Assistant of the Year awards. We made great efforts to maintain the motivation and commitment of our employees, as a consequence of which our Employee Satisfaction Index and the retention of our staff were outstandingly high. The Project Coordinating Centre business model enhancing the efficiency of clinical studies was introduced into the region. One of our Hungarian associates was appointed regional manager of the programme.

    We marked the 10th anniversary of our office with a 10-part programme series, part of which was a scientific symposium organized at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The symposium and the banquet held after the symposium was attended by Chairman/CEO of the company Dr. Dennis Gillings, global and regional managers and staff of the company, as well as investigators, scientific researchers, specialists from the authorities and representatives of clients who work with us. 
    In this year the number of staff on our payroll approached 150. Operation of a new business model, LSFR, was also initiated in Hungary. Its regional manager is a Hungarian colleague.
    Dr. János Filakovszky was appointed Managing Director of Quintiles Eastern Europe Region and Middle East. Dr. Szabolcs Barótfi took over the post of country manager and director of clinical operations.