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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
    ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
or
    TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to .
Commission File Number: 001-35907
IQVIA HOLDINGS INC.
iqv-20211231_g1.jpg
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware27-1341991
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)
4820 Emperor Blvd., Durham, North Carolina 27703
(Address of principal executive office and Zip Code)

(919) 998-2000
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $0.01 per shareIQVNew York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
    Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes No
    Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes No
    Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding twelve months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes No
    Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes No
    Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filer
Non-accelerated filerSmaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
    If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
    Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes No
    The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based upon the closing sale price as reported on the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, 2021, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second quarter, was approximately $45.7 billion.
     As of February 7, 2022, there were approximately 190,485,264 shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding.



Portions of the registrant’s Proxy Statement for the 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated herein by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to the extent stated herein. Such proxy statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of the registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.


IQVIA HOLDINGS INC.
FORM 10-K
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Except for any historical information contained herein, the matters discussed or incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). Such forward-looking statements reflect, among other things, our current expectations, our forecasts and our anticipated results of operations, all of which are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, market trends, or industry results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Therefore, any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements and should be evaluated as such. Without limiting the foregoing, the words “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” "forecasts," “plans,” “projects,” “should,” “targets,” “will” and similar words and expressions, and variations and negatives of these words are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words.

We caution you that any such forward-looking statements are further qualified by important factors that could cause our actual operating results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including without limitation, that business disruptions caused by natural disasters, pandemics such as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, including any variants, and the public health policy responses to the outbreak, international conflict or other disruptions outside of our control; our ability to accurately model or forecast the impact of the spread and/or containment of COVID-19, including any variants, among other sources of business interruption, on our operations and financial results; most of our contracts may be terminated on short notice, and we may lose or experience delays with large client contracts or be unable to enter into new contracts; the market for our services may not grow as we expect; we may be unable to successfully develop and market new services or enter new markets; imposition of restrictions on our use of data by data suppliers or their refusal to license data to us; any failure by us to comply with contractual, regulatory or ethical requirements under our contracts, including current or future changes to data protection and privacy laws; breaches or misuse of our or our outsourcing partners’ security or communications systems; failure to meet our productivity or business transformation objectives; failure to successfully invest in growth opportunities; our ability to protect our intellectual property rights and our susceptibility to claims by others that we are infringing on their intellectual property rights; the expiration or inability to acquire third party licenses for technology or intellectual property; any failure by us to accurately and timely price and formulate cost estimates for contracts, or to document change orders; hardware and software failures, delays in the operation of our computer and communications systems or the failure to implement system enhancements; the rate at which our backlog converts to revenue; our ability to acquire, develop and implement technology necessary for our business; consolidation in the industries in which our clients operate; risks related to client or therapeutic concentration; government regulators or our customers may limit the scope of prescription or withdraw products from the market, and government regulators may impose new regulatory requirements or may adopt new regulations affecting the biopharmaceutical industry; the risks associated with operating on a global basis, including currency or exchange rate fluctuations and legal compliance, including anti-corruption laws; risks related to changes in accounting standards; general economic conditions in the markets in which we operate, including financial market conditions and risks related to sales to government entities; the impact of changes in tax laws and regulations; and our ability to successfully integrate, and achieve expected benefits from, our acquired businesses.

These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described in Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors.” If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may vary materially from those expected, estimated or projected or as otherwise suggested by the forward-looking statements that we make for a number of reasons. Given these uncertainties, users of the information included or incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including investors and prospective investors, are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof. We assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking information to reflect actual results or changes in the factors affecting such forward-looking information.

GENERAL

When we use the terms “IQVIA,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” or “our” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we mean IQVIA Holdings Inc. and its subsidiaries on a consolidated basis, unless we state or the context implies otherwise.


3


INDUSTRY AND MARKET DATA

This Annual Report on Form 10-K includes market data and forecasts with respect to the healthcare industry. In some cases, we rely on and refer to market data and certain industry forecasts that were obtained from third party surveys, market research, consultant surveys, publicly available information and industry publications and surveys that we believe to be reliable. However, we have not independently verified data from industry analyses and cannot guarantee their accuracy or completeness. We believe that data regarding the industry, market size and its market position and market share within such industry provide general guidance but are inherently imprecise. Other industry and market data included in this annual report are from IQVIA analyses and have been identified accordingly, including, for example, IQVIA Market Prognosis, which is a subscription-based service that provides five-year pharmaceutical market forecasts at the national, regional and global levels. We are a leading global information provider for the healthcare industry and we maintain databases, produce market analyses and deliver information to clients in the ordinary course of our business. Our information is widely referenced in the industry and used by governments, payers, academia, the life sciences industry, the financial community and others. Most of this information is available on a subscription basis. Other reports and information are available publicly through our IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science (the “IQVIA Institute”). All such information is based upon our own market research, internal databases and published reports and has not been verified by any independent sources. Our estimates and assumptions involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed in Part I, Item IA, “Risk Factors”. These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the estimates and assumptions.

TRADEMARKS AND SERVICE MARKS

All trademarks, trade names, product names, graphics and logos of IQVIA contained herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of IQVIA Holdings Inc. or its subsidiaries, as applicable, in the United States and/or other countries. All other party trademarks, trade names, product names, graphics and logos contained herein are the property of their respective owners. The use or display of other parties’ trademarks, trade names, product names, graphics or logos is not intended to imply, and should not be construed to imply, a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of IQVIA Inc. or its subsidiaries by such other party.

Solely for convenience, the trademarks, service marks and trade names referred to in this annual report are listed without the ®, (sm) and (TM) symbols, but we will assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights or the rights of the applicable licensors to these trademarks, service marks and trade names.



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PART I
Item 1. Business

Our Company

IQVIA is a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions, and clinical research services to the life sciences industry. IQVIA creates intelligent connections across all aspects of healthcare through its analytics, transformative technology, big data resources and extensive domain expertise. IQVIA Connected Intelligence™ delivers powerful insights with speed and agility — enabling customers to accelerate the clinical development and commercialization of innovative medical treatments that improve healthcare outcomes for patients. With approximately 79,000 employees, we conduct operations in more than 100 countries.

We are a global leader in protecting individual patient privacy. We use a wide variety of privacy-enhancing technologies and safeguards to protect individual privacy while generating and analyzing information on a scale that helps healthcare stakeholders identify disease patterns and correlate with the precise treatment path and therapy needed for better outcomes. Our insights and execution capabilities help biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, medical researchers, government agencies, payers and other healthcare stakeholders tap into a deeper understanding of diseases, human behaviors and scientific advances, in an effort to advance their path toward cures.

We have one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of healthcare information in the world, which includes more than 1.2 billion comprehensive, longitudinal, non-identified patient records spanning sales, prescription and promotional data, medical claims, electronic medical records, genomics, and social media. Our scaled and growing information set contains approximately 56 petabytes of proprietary data sourced from approximately 150,000 data suppliers and covering over one million data feeds globally. Based on this data, we deliver information and insights on over 85% of the world’s pharmaceuticals, as measured by 2020 sales. We standardize, curate, structure and integrate this information by applying our sophisticated analytics and leveraging our global technology infrastructure. This helps our clients run their organizations more efficiently and make better decisions to improve their clinical, commercial and financial performance. The breadth of the intelligent, actionable information we provide is not comprehensively available from any other source and our scope of information would be difficult and costly for another party to replicate.

We combine our proprietary information assets with advanced analytics, transformative technology and domain expertise to develop clinical and commercial capabilities that enable us to grow our relationships with healthcare stakeholders throughout the life science’s value chain. This set of capabilities includes:

A leading healthcare-specific global IT infrastructure, representing what we believe is one of the largest and most sophisticated information technology (“IT”) infrastructures in healthcare. We receive approximately 100 billion healthcare records annually, and our infrastructure then connects complex healthcare data while applying a wide range of privacy, security, operational, legal and contractual protections for data in response to local law, supplier requirements and industry leading practices;

Analytics-driven clinical development, which improves clinical trial design, site identification and patient recruitment by empowering therapeutic, scientific, and domain experts with expansive levels of information, including product level tracking in 93 markets, and information about treatments and outcomes on more than 1.2 billion unique non-identified patient records globally;

Robust real world solutions ecosystem, with sophisticated retrospective database analytics, prospective real world data collection technology platforms and scientific expertise, which enables us to address critical healthcare issues of cost, value and patient outcomes;

A growing set of proprietary clinical and commercial applications, which helps our clients increase their clinical operations performance, supports their regulatory and compliance needs and orchestrates their sales operations, sales management, multi- channel marketing and performance management; and

A staff of approximately 79,000 employees across the globe, including over 28,000 Technology & Analytics Solutions employees, approximately 42,000 Research & Development Solutions employees and approximately 6,000 Contract Sales & Medical Solutions employees.
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Integration of information, analytics, technology, and domain expertise through Connected Intelligence, which enables us to provide our clients with more effective options to address their needs from Research and Development through commercialization as well as truly innovative breakthroughs such as virtual trials and global real-world evidence networks.

Our Market Opportunity

We compete in a market of greater than $285 billion consisting of outsourced research and development, real-world evidence and connected health and technology enabled clinical and commercial operations markets for life sciences companies and the broader healthcare industry. The following sets forth our estimates for the size of our principal markets:

Outsourced research and development: Biopharmaceutical spending on drug development totaled approximately $150 billion in 2021. Of that amount, we estimate that our addressable opportunity (clinical development spending excluding preclinical spending) was approximately $81 billion. The portion of this addressable opportunity that was outsourced in 2021, based on our estimates, was approximately $39 billion;

Real-World Evidence and connected health: Total addressable market of approximately $60 billion based on 2021 sales that consists of tightly coupled life sciences and healthcare markets. First, the life sciences market for Real-World Evidence of approximately $20 billion includes post-launch evidence generation, market access, and patient engagement services. Second, the market for connected healthcare of approximately $40 billion includes areas such as revenue cycle management, payer analytics and clinical decision support services; and

Technology enabled commercial operations: Total addressable market of approximately $75 billion based on 2021 sales that includes information, data warehousing, IT outsourcing, software applications and other services in the broader market for IT services. This addressable market also includes commercial services such as recruiting, training, deploying and managing global sales forces, channel management, patient engagement services, market access consulting, brand communication, advisory services, and health information analytics and technology consulting.

In deriving estimates of the size of the various markets described above, we review third-party sources, which include estimates and forecasts of spending in various segments, in combination with internal IQVIA research and analysis informed by our experience serving these segments, as well as projected growth rates for each of these segments. See “Industry and Market Data” above.

We believe there are six key trends affecting our end markets that will create increasing demand for research and development services, technology & analytics solutions and contract sales and medical solutions:

Growth and innovation in the life sciences industry. The life sciences industry is a large and critical part of the global healthcare system, and, according to the latest information available from the IQVIA Market Prognosis service, is estimated to have generated approximately $1.42 trillion in revenue in 2021. According to our research, revenue growth in the life sciences industry globally is expected to range from 3% to 6% between 2022 and 2026. According to the IQVIA Institute, it is estimated that spending on pharmaceuticals in emerging markets will expand at a 5% to 8% compound annual growth rate (“CAGR”) through 2026. The growth of emerging markets demonstrates their strategic importance to global life sciences organizations along with the emergence of local and regional companies with similar operational and informational needs. We expect all of these organizations to apply a high degree of sophistication to their commercial operations in these countries, especially as some begin to emerge as sources of original innovative products. For global companies, this requires highly localized knowledge and information assets, the development of market access strategies and performance benchmarking. In addition, local players are learning that they need to compete on the basis of improved information and analytics.

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Growth in Research and Development. Spending trends in research and development are impacted as a result of several factors, including major biopharmaceutical companies’ efforts to replenish revenues lost from the so-called “patent cliff,” increased access to capital by the small and midcap biotechnology industry, and recent increases in pharmaceutical approvals by regulatory authorities. The IQVIA Institute also estimates that approximately 300 new molecular entities (“NMEs”) are expected to be approved between 2022 and 2026, or 60 per year compared to 53 per year on average during the past decade. We believe that further research and development spending, combined with the continued need for cost efficiency across the healthcare landscape, will continue to create opportunities for biopharmaceutical services companies, particularly those with a global reach and broad service offerings, to help biopharmaceutical companies with their pre- and post-launch solutions development and commercialization needs.

Increased Complexity in Research and Development. Biopharmaceutical companies face environments in which it has become increasingly difficult to operate. Improved standards of care in many therapeutic areas and the emergence of new types of therapies, such as biologics, genetically targeted therapies, gene and stem cell therapies, and other treatment modalities have led to more complex development and regulatory pathways. We believe that our global clinical development capabilities, including our expertise in biomarkers and genomics and our global laboratory network, position us well to help biopharmaceutical companies manage the complexities inherent in an environment where this type of expertise is important. For example, Connected Intelligence helps us validate protocols to ensure studies in new disease areas have greater accuracy and also enables us, through innovations such as predictive analytics, to find patients who may not have been diagnosed.

Regulators require clinical trials involving local populations as part of the process for approving new pharmaceutical products, especially in certain Asian and emerging markets. Understanding the epidemiological and physiological differences in different ethnic populations and being able to conduct clinical trials locally in certain geographies will be important to pharmaceutical product growth strategies, both for multinational and local/regional biopharmaceutical companies. We believe that our global clinical development capabilities and unmatched presence in Asia and other emerging markets make us a strong partner for biopharmaceutical companies managing the complexities of international drug development.

Financial pressures driving the need for increased efficiency. Despite expected accelerating growth in the global life sciences market, we believe our clients will face increased operating margin pressure due to their changing product mix, pricing and reimbursement challenges, and rising costs of compliance. Product portfolios for life sciences companies have shifted toward specialty products with lower peak market sales potential than traditional primary care medicines. We believe that the need for biopharmaceutical companies to maximize productivity and lower costs across their processes from research and development through commercial operations will cause them to look to partners as they enter into outsourcing arrangements to improve efficiency. Further, our clients are looking for new ways to simplify processes and drive operational efficiencies by using automation, consolidating vendors and adopting new technology options such as hosted and cloud-based applications. This provides opportunities for technology services vendors to capture and consolidate internal spending by providing lower-cost and variable-cost options that lower clients’ research and development, selling, marketing and administrative costs.

Evolving need to integrate and structure expanding sources of data. Over the past decade, many health systems around the world have focused on digitizing medical records. While such records theoretically enhance access to data, relevant information is often unintegrated, unstructured, siloed in disparate software systems, or entered inconsistently. In addition, new sources of data from the internet, such as social media and information on limited patient pools, and information resulting from enhanced diagnostic technologies are creating new sources of healthcare data.

In order to derive valuable insights from existing and expanding sources of information, clients need access to statistically significant data sets organized into databases that can be queried and analyzed. For example, real-world evidence studies demonstrate practical and clinical efficacies, which we believe require the aggregation and integration of large clinical data sets across all care settings, types of therapies and patient cohorts. Longitudinal studies require analysis of non-identified patient diagnoses, treatments, procedures and laboratory test results to identify types of patients that will likely best respond to particular therapies. Finally, manufacturers also require the ability to analyze social media activity to identify unmet patient needs and support for new orphan drugs. This information is highly relevant to all healthcare stakeholders and we believe the opportunity to more broadly apply healthcare data can only be realized through structuring, organizing and integrating new and existing forms of data in conjunction with sophisticated analytics.

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Need for demonstrated value in healthcare. Participants in the healthcare industry are focused on improving quality and reducing costs, both of which require assessment of quality and value of therapies and providers. As a result, physicians no longer make prescribing decisions in isolation, but rather in the context of guidance and rules from payers, integrated delivery networks and governments. We believe life sciences companies are working to bring alignment across constituents on the value of their treatments in order to successfully develop and commercialize new therapies.

There is increasing pressure on life sciences companies to support and justify the value of their therapies. Many new drugs that are being approved are more expensive than existing therapies and will likely receive heightened scrutiny by regulators and payers to determine whether the existing treatment options would be sufficient. Additionally, many new specialty drugs are molecular-based therapies and require a more detailed understanding of clinical factors and influencers that demonstrate therapeutic value. As a result, leading life sciences companies are utilizing more sophisticated outcome research and data analytics services.

We believe we are well positioned to take advantage of these global trends in healthcare. Beyond our proprietary information assets, we have developed key capabilities to assess opportunities to develop and commercialize therapies, support and defend the value of medicines and help our clients operate more efficiently through the application of insight-driven decision-making and cost-efficient technology solutions.

Our Growth Strategy

We believe we are well positioned for continued growth across the markets we serve. Our strategy for achieving growth includes:

Continue to innovate through our Connected Intelligence by leveraging our information, advanced analytics, transformative technology and significant domain expertise. As a leader in the development and commercialization of new pharmaceutical therapies, we can empower our therapeutic, scientific and domain experts with expansive levels of information including product level tracking in 93 markets and information about treatments and outcomes on more than 1.2 billion unique non-identified patient records. By connecting this intelligence, we have the ability to optimize the clinical trial process and enable our clients to reduce costs and get their products to market more quickly through more informed site selection, faster patient recruitment practices and virtual trials. We transform Real World Evidence by linking prospective and retrospective approaches and introduce innovation such as secondary control arms, which eliminate the need for a placebo group. We bring best in class SaaS platforms, purpose built for life sciences, to our clients to help them run their clinical and commercial operations more efficiently.

Build upon our extensive client relationships and leverage our global presence. We have a diversified base of over 10,000 clients in over 100 countries and have expanded our client value proposition to address a broader market for research and development and commercial operations which we estimate to be more than $285 billion in 2021. Through the combined offerings of research and development and commercial services we built a platform that allows us to be a more complete partner to our clients.

Expand the penetration of our offerings to the broader healthcare marketplace. We believe that substantial opportunities exist to use our existing technology and domain expertise to serve additional healthcare stakeholders (payers, providers, healthcare professionals) to quantify and optimize cost of care delivery; provide registry technology to professional association and patient communities and support healthcare providers with system implementation and platform migration.

Expand portfolio through strategic acquisitions. We have and expect to continue to acquire assets and businesses that strengthen our value proposition to clients. We have developed an internal capability to source, evaluate and integrate acquisitions that have created value for stockholders. As the global healthcare landscape evolves, we expect that there will be a growing number of acquisition opportunities across the life sciences, payer and provider sectors. We expect to continue to invest in or explore opportunities for strategic acquisitions to grow our platform and enhance our ability to provide more services to our clients.

Our Offerings

We offer hundreds of distinct services, applications, technology platforms and solutions to help our clients make critical decisions and perform better. We have three operating segments: Technology & Analytics Solutions, Research & Development Solutions and Contract Sales & Medical Solutions. Their offerings complement each other and can provide enhanced value to our clients when delivered together, with each driving demand for the other.


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Our Technology & Analytics Solutions offerings include:

Technology platforms. We provide an extensive range of cloud-based applications and associated implementation services. Software as a Service (“SaaS”) solutions that support a wide range of commercial and clinical processes, including customer relationship management (“CRM”), performance management, real-world evidence generation, compliance and safety reporting, incentive compensation, territory alignment, roster management, call planning, multi-channel marketing, and master data management. These solutions are used by healthcare companies to manage, optimize and execute their clinical and commercial strategies in an orchestrated manner while addressing their regulatory obligations. Using proprietary algorithms, we combine our country-level data, healthcare expertise and therapeutic knowledge in over 100 countries to create our Global Market Insight family of offerings such as MIDAS, Analytics Link and Disease Insights, which provides a leading source of insight into international market dynamics and are used by most large pharmaceutical companies.

Real World Solutions. We enable life sciences and provider customers to generate and disseminate evidence in a cost-efficient manner which informs health care decision making and ultimately improves patients’ outcomes. Our use of a wide range of privacy and security safeguards protect non-identified patient-level medical claims, prescriptions, electronic medical records, genomics, patient reported outcome and social media data. Our scaled information networks include more than 1.2 billion unique non-identified patient records globally. We technology-enable these data flows by harmonizing them to common data models and loading them onto our proprietary evidence platforms for secure access by our customers. We provide access to deep clinical data in Oncology, Rare Disease, and other specialty areas. Our Natural Language Processing capabilities help us create structured data from unstructured clinical notes. We help our global customers across payers, providers, governments, and biopharmaceutical companies to answer critical questions about healthcare interventions related to safety, effectiveness, and value. We also bring together stakeholders across healthcare to collaborate in efforts to develop new information sources, more effective reimbursement models, and better patient outcomes.

Analytics and consulting services. We provide a broad set of strategic and implementation consulting services, including advanced analytics and commercial processes outsourcing services to help the commercial operations of life sciences companies successfully transform their commercial models, engage more effectively with the healthcare stakeholders and reduce their operating costs. We also help our client’s R&D function to address strategic challenges in the drug development process. Our global teams leverage local market knowledge, deep scientific and therapeutic area expertise and our global information resources to assist our clients with R&D strategy, portfolio, brand and commercial strategy, as well as pricing and market access and launch excellence.

Information offerings. Our national offerings comprise unique services in over 100 countries that provide consistent country level performance metrics related to sales of pharmaceutical products, prescribing trends, medical treatment and promotional activity across multiple channels including retail, hospital and mail order. Our sub-national offerings comprise unique services in over 70 countries that provide a consistent measurement of sales or prescribing activity at the regional, zip code and individual prescriber level (depending on regulation in the relevant country). Our widely used reference database tracks over 23 million healthcare professionals in over 100 countries, providing a comprehensive view of health care practitioners that is critical for the commercial success of our clients’ marketing and sales initiatives.

Our Research & Development Solutions offerings include:

Project Management and Clinical Monitoring. Drawing upon our years of experience, our site databases, our site relationships and our highly trained staff, our solutions and services enables the efficient conduct and coordination of multi-site clinical trials (generally Phase II-IV). Our service offerings include protocol design, feasibility and operational planning, site start up, patient recruitment and clinical site monitoring. By infusing technology into field-based monitoring, we are able to reduce data collection steps and time.

Clinical Trial Support Services. Each clinical trial requires a number of concurrent services and data streams. We offer a broad range of functional services and consultation to support clinical trials through specialized expertise that help clients efficiently collect, analyze and report the quality data and evidence they need to gain regulatory approval.

Clinical Laboratory Services. We provide our clients globally scaled end-to-end clinical trial laboratory and research services. Our offerings include the full range of central laboratory, genomic, bioanalytical, ADME, discovery, vaccine and biomarker laboratory services along with sample and consent tracking services supporting clinical trials offerings.
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Strategic Planning and Design. By bringing our data science capabilities to our strategic planning and design services, we offer consultation services to improve decisions and performance including portfolio, program and protocol planning and design, biomarker consultation, benefit-risk management, regulatory affairs, biostatistics, modeling and simulation, and personalized medicine.

Decentralized Clinical Trials. Utilizing our proprietary information assets and transformative technology, we bring trials directly to patients, with the objective of increasing participation and improving cycle times. Combining this with purpose-built processes and industry-leading clinical capabilities, we help clients reach diverse and difficult to recruit patient populations.

Our principal Contract Sales & Medical Solutions offerings include:

Health Care Provider Engagement Services. We partner with biopharmaceutical companies and other life sciences providers (e.g., medical device companies) to develop and deploy tailored stakeholder engagement solutions, including contract sales and market access professionals, which are focused on product sales and improving brand value at all stages of the product lifecycle from initial market entry to brands nearing patent expiry.

Patient Engagement Services. Our nurse-based programs directly engage with patients to help improve their disease and medication understanding through interventional and non-interventional support, while also providing assistance in navigating complex reimbursement coverage issues. Our patient engagement services combine insight from clinical trials and social listening, behavioral design, personal and innovative eHealth multichannel interactions across multiple sites (e.g., the physician’s office, hospital, pharmacy, home), that act as an extension of the Health Care Provider prescribed treatment course which can lead to improved adherence and better overall outcomes.

Medical Affairs Services. We provide a range of scientific strategy and medical affairs services to help biopharmaceutical companies plan and transition from the clinical trial setting to commercialization. Beginning in the clinical trial stage, our services can deploy educators to clinical trial sites to accelerate patient recruitment and improve retention, assist in translation of complex clinical trial data into a compelling scientific platform and publication strategy, and, provide field medical teams to facilitate scientific engagement with key opinion leaders and healthcare decision makers, before and after product approval.

Our Clients

Sales to companies in life sciences, including pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, device and diagnostic companies, and consumer health companies, account for the majority of our revenues. Nearly all of the top 100 global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, measured by revenue, are clients, and many of these companies subscribe to reports and services in many countries. Other clients include payers, government and regulatory agencies, providers, pharmaceutical distributors, and pharmacies. Our client base is broad in scope and enables us to avoid dependence on any single client. No single client accounted for 10% or more of our total company revenues in 2021, 2020, or 2019. For the year ended December 31, 2021 the largest client based on its percentage of total company revenue contributed approximately 7%.

Our Competition

Our Technology & Analytics Solutions business competes with a broad and diverse set of businesses. While we believe no competitor provides the combination of geographical reach and breadth of its services, we generally compete in the countries in which we operate with other information, analytics, technology, services and consulting companies, as well as with the in-house capabilities of our clients. Also, we compete with certain government agencies, private payers and other healthcare stakeholders that provide their data directly to others. In addition to country-by-country competition, we have a number of regional and global competitors in the marketplace as well. Our offerings compete with various firms, including Accenture, Aetion, Panalgo, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Covance Inc., Deloitte, Evidera (now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.), GfK, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, IBM, Infosys, Kantar Health (now part of Cerner Corporation), McKinsey, Nielsen, OptumInsight, PAREXEL International Corporation, Press Ganey, RTI Health Solutions, PRA Health Sciences (now part of ICON plc), Tempus, Veeva, and ZS Associates. We also compete with a broad range of new entrants and start-ups that are looking to bring new technologies and business models to healthcare information services and technology services.

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The markets for Research & Development Solutions offerings are highly competitive, and we compete against traditional clinical research organizations (“CROs”), the in-house research and development departments of biopharmaceutical companies, universities, and teaching hospitals. Among the traditional CROs, there are several-hundred small, limited-service providers, several medium-sized firms and only a few full-service companies with global capabilities. Our primary competitors include Covance Inc., ICON plc, PAREXEL International Corporation, Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc. (now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.), PRA Health Sciences (now part of ICON plc), and Syneos Health, among others.

Our Contract Sales & Medical Solutions business competes against the in-house sales and marketing departments of biopharmaceutical companies, other contract pharmaceutical sales and service organizations and consulting firms. Contract Sales & Medical Solutions’ primary competitor in the United States is Syneos Health, Eversana and UDG Healthcare plc. Outside of the United States, Contract Sales & Medical Solutions typically competes against single country or more regionally focused service providers, such as UDG Healthcare plc, Syneos Health, EPS Corporation and CMIC HOLDINGS Co., Ltd.

Sustainability

We are committed to sustainable environmental, social and governance ("ESG") practices that further our corporate purpose of helping our clients improve healthcare outcomes for patients. Our sustainable business practices are organized under three pillars — People, Public and Planet. For further information on our ESG program, achievements, and goals, see our 2021 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report (the "2021 ESG Report"), which will be available on our website at https://www.iqvia.com/about-us/corporate-responsibility. Information in the 2021 ESG Report is not incorporated by reference in, and does not form part of, this Annual Report on Form 10-K. To facilitate the disclosure of comparable, consistent, and reliable ESG information, the 2021 ESG Report will be aligned with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board ("SASB") and the Global Reporting Initiative ("GRI") reporting frameworks by including therein and reporting against their respective reporting standards indexes. The 2021 ESG Report also discusses our climate-related risks and opportunities in accordance with the recommended disclosures of Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures ("TCFD").

Government Regulation

Many aspects of our businesses are regulated by federal and state laws, rules and regulations. Accordingly, we maintain a robust compliance program aimed at ensuring we operate our business in compliance with all existing legal requirements material to the operation of our businesses. There are, however, occasionally uncertainties involving the application of various legal requirements, the violation of which could result in, among other things, fines or other sanctions. See Part I, Item 1A, "Risk Factors” for additional detail.

Good Clinical Practice

Good Clinical Practice (“GCP”) regulations and guidelines are the industry standard for the conduct of clinical trials with respect to maintaining the integrity of the data and safety of the research subjects. The United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”), Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and most other global regulatory authorities expect that study results and data submitted to such authorities be based on clinical trials conducted in accordance with GCP provisions. Records for clinical trials must be maintained for specified periods for inspection by the FDA and other regulators.

Regulation of Drugs, Biologics and Medical Devices

In the United States, pharmaceutical, biological and medical device products are subject to extensive regulation by the FDA. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDC Act”), the Public Health Service Act (“PHS Act”), and other federal and state statutes and regulations, govern, among other things, the research, development, testing, manufacture, storage, recordkeeping, approval, labeling, promotion and marketing, distribution, post-approval monitoring and reporting, sampling, and import and export of pharmaceutical, biological and medical device products. Failure to comply with applicable United States requirements may subject a company to a variety of administrative or judicial sanctions, such as FDA refusal to approve a pending new drug application (“NDA”) for a new drug, a biologics license application (“BLA”) for a new biological product pre-market approval (“PMA”) or clearance for a new medical device, warning or untitled letters, clinical holds, product recalls, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution, injunctions, fines, civil penalties, and criminal prosecution.


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Regulation of Patient Information

Our information management services relate to the processing of information regarding patient diagnosis and treatment of disease and are, therefore, subject to substantial governmental regulation. In addition, the confidentiality of patient-specific information and the circumstances under which such patient-specific records may be released for inclusion in our databases or used in other aspects of our business is heavily regulated. Federal, state and foreign governments are contemplating or have proposed or adopted additional legislation governing the possession, use and dissemination of personal data, such as personal health information and personal financial data, as well as security breach notification rules for loss or theft of such data. Additional legislation or regulation of this type might, among other things, require us to implement additional security measures and processes or bring within the legislation or regulation de-identified health or other data, each of which may require substantial expenditures or limit our ability to offer some of our services.

In particular, personal health information is recognized in many countries such as the United States, the European Union, or EU, and several countries in Asia, as a special, sensitive category of personal information, subject to additional mandatory protections. Violations of data protection regulations are subject to administrative penalties, civil money penalties and criminal prosecution, including corporate fines and personal liability.

Regulation of Promotion, Marketing and Distribution of Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices

Certain of our services are subject to detailed and comprehensive regulation in each geographic market in which we operate. Such regulation relates, among other things, to the distribution of drug samples, the marketing and promotion of approved products, the qualifications of sales representatives and the use of healthcare professionals in sales functions.

In the United States, certain of our services are subject to numerous federal and state laws pertaining to promotional activities involving pharmaceutical products and medical devices. Certain of our services are subject to the FDA’s regulations against “off-label promotion,” which require sales representatives to restrict promotion of the approved product they are detailing to the approved labeling for the product. The Prescription Drug Marketing Act imposes licensing, personnel record keeping, packaging, labeling, product handling and facility storage and security requirements. Other federal and state laws prohibit manufacturers, suppliers and providers from offering, giving or receiving kickbacks or other remuneration in connection with ordering or recommending the purchase or rental of healthcare items and services. The sale or distribution of pharmaceutical products and devices is also governed by the United States Federal Trade Commission Act and state consumer protection laws. We are subject to similar regulations currently in effect in the other countries where we offer Contract Sales & Medical Solutions.

We are also subject to various laws and regulations that may apply to certain drug and device promotional practices, including, among others, various aspects of Medicare and federal healthcare programs. Violations of these laws and regulations may result in criminal and/or civil penalties, including possibly as an “aider and abettor.”

Regulation of Laboratories

Our United States laboratories are subject to licensing and regulation under federal, state and local laws relating to hazard communication and employee right-to-know regulations, and the safety and health of laboratory employees. Additionally, our United States laboratories are subject to applicable federal and state laws and regulations and licensing requirements relating to the handling, storage and disposal of hazardous waste, radioactive materials and laboratory specimens, including the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Transportation, the National Fire Protection Agency and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”). The use of controlled substances in testing for drugs with a potential for abuse is regulated in the United States by the DEA and by similar regulatory bodies in other parts of the world. Our United States laboratories using controlled substances for testing purposes are licensed by the DEA. The regulations of the United States Department of Transportation, Public Health Service and Postal Service apply to the surface and air transportation of laboratory specimens. Our laboratories also are subject to International Air Transport Association regulations, which govern international shipments of laboratory specimens. Furthermore, when the materials are sent to a foreign country, the transportation of such materials becomes subject to the laws, rules and regulations of such foreign country. Our laboratories outside the United States are subject to applicable national laws governing matters such as licensing, the handling and disposal of medical specimens, genetic material, hazardous waste and radioactive materials, as well as the health and safety of laboratory employees.

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In addition to its comprehensive regulation of safety in the workplace, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established extensive requirements relating to workplace safety for healthcare employers whose workers may be exposed to blood-borne pathogens such as HIV and the hepatitis B virus. Although we believe that we are currently in compliance in all material respects with such federal, state and local laws, failure to comply with such laws could subject us to denial of the right to conduct business, fines, criminal penalties and other enforcement actions.

Further, laboratories that analyze human blood or other biological samples for the diagnosis and treatment of clinical trial subjects must comply with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (“CLIA”), as well as requirements established by various states. The failure to meet these requirements may result in civil penalties and suspension or revocation of the CLIA certification.

Data Privacy

Patient health information is among the most sensitive of personal information, and it is critically important that information about an individual’s healthcare is properly protected from inappropriate access, use and disclosure. Real world evidence -- information that allows us to examine actual practices and outcomes -- is essential to increase access to care, improve outcomes, and lower costs. IQVIA uses a wide variety of privacy-enhancing technologies and safeguards to protect individual privacy while generating and analyzing information on a scale that helps healthcare stakeholders identify disease patterns and correlate with the precise treatment path and therapy needed for better outcomes. We employ a wide variety of methods to manage privacy requirements, including:

governance, frameworks, models and training to promote good decision making and accountability;
a layered approach to privacy and security management to avoid a single point of failure;
ongoing evaluation of privacy and security practices to promote continuous improvement;
use of technical, administrative, physical and organizational safeguards and controls;
collaboration with data suppliers and trusted third parties for our syndicated market research and analytics offerings to remove identifiable information or employ effective encryption or other techniques to render information non-identified before data is delivered to us; and
work with leading researchers, policy makers, thought leaders and others in a variety of fields relevant to the application of effective privacy and security practices, including statistical, epidemiological and cryptographic sciences, legal, information security and compliance, and privacy.

We are an industry leader in de-identifying data. Our capabilities allow us to render data non-identified while still maintaining data utility, thus protecting privacy while still advancing innovation. Not only do we make use of de-identification techniques with respect to the data we hold, but we also share our expertise in this area with policymakers, regulators and others to help them understand de-identification methodologies and practical considerations to avoid re-identification risk.

We operate in more than 100 countries around the world, many of which have data protection and privacy laws and regulations based on similar core principles, (e.g., openness, accountability, security safeguards, etc.). We apply those principles globally and augment our practices to address local laws, contractual obligations and other data privacy requirements.

Our Global Privacy team, led by our Global Chief Privacy Officer, is comprised of privacy professionals and privacy law experts who drive our strategy and develop and manage our policies and standards. The Global Privacy team provides subject matter expertise related to the proper management of all data types. In addition, our Global Privacy team liaises with our Legal, IT, Information Security and other teams so that privacy requirements are addressed in technology, contracting, offerings and other business activities.

The IQVIA Privacy Policy (the "Privacy Policy") is our foundational privacy policy. It explains how, when applicable, we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information, including that of our personnel, consumers, healthcare professionals, patients, medical research subjects, clinical investigators, customers, suppliers, vendors, business partners and investors. You can find the Privacy Policy on our website at https://www.iqvia.com/about-us/privacy/privacy-policy. Information in the Privacy Policy is not incorporated by reference in, and does not form part of, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.


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Cybersecurity

We employ an array of data security technologies, processes and methods across our infrastructure to protect systems and sensitive information from unauthorized access. IQVIA maintains comprehensive identity and access management practices (e.g., roles and access privileges for each user; multi-factor authentication, privileged user accounts, single sign-on, user lifecycle management) and employs a variety of security information and event management tools.

We developed, maintain and utilize a global integrated information security framework to guide our practices, based on relevant industry frameworks and laws, including, but not limited to NIST, GxP, HITRUST, the ISO 27000 family, COBIT, GDPR, and HIPAA. The framework consists of policies, standards, procedures, work instructions and documentation. Information is classified into four categories to help individuals apply the right level of controls and safeguards to information, applications and systems.

Our cybersecurity program focuses on all areas of our business, including cloud-based environments, data centers, devices used by employees and contractors, facilities, networks, applications, vendors, disaster recovery / business continuity and controls and safeguards enabled through business processes and tools. We continuously monitor for threats and unauthorized access. We draw on the knowledge and insight of external cybersecurity experts and vendors, and employ an array of third party tools to secure IQVIA information infrastructure and protect systems and information from unauthorized access.

Non-technical safeguards also play an important role in our cybersecurity program. We provide various training programs and tools to employees so they can avoid risky practices and help us promptly identify potential or actual issues. We also have global incident response procedures, global service tools to log incidents and issues for investigation, and an ethics line to report concerns and follow-up on matters already reported.

The Global Information Security team, led by our Chief Information Security Officer, develops and implements our strategy, as well as monitors systems and devices for risks and threats. Our global data centers and IT controls are included in an annual SOC2 Type II attestation program carried out by an independent audit firm who performs control testing and issue reports. Our set of SOC2 controls is aligned with ISO27001 specification and therefore provide equivalent level of assurance on a global level.

Our Intellectual Property

In addition to our proprietary data sets described above, we develop and use a number of proprietary methodologies, analytics, systems, technologies and other intellectual property in the conduct of our business. We rely upon a combination of legal, technical, and administrative safeguards to protect our proprietary and confidential information and trade secrets, and patent, copyright and trademark laws to protect other intellectual property rights. We consider our trademark and related names, marks and logos to be of material importance to our business, and we have registered or applied for registration for certain of these trademarks including IQVIA, in the United States and other jurisdictions and aggressively seek to protect them. Trademarks and service marks generally may be renewed indefinitely so long as they are in use and/or their registrations are properly maintained, and so long as they have not been found to have become generic. The technology and other intellectual property rights owned and licensed by us are of importance to our business, although our management believes that our business, as a whole, is not dependent upon any one intellectual property or group of such properties.

Human Capital

Overview. Our approximately 79,000 employees help us drive our business success and achieve our ambition to advance human health. We are a diverse global team that shares a passion for collaboration and solving complex problems. Our workforce is comprised of a wide variety of professionals, including clinicians, data scientists, epidemiologists, and more.

Our culture is one in which employees are encouraged to apply their insight, curiosity, and intellectual courage across everything they do. The way we manage our people and the programs we offer our employees reflect our commitment to fostering this culture of empowerment and engagement.

Each one of our employees provide value, no matter where they sit within the organization. We are committed to creating an environment where all employees are respected and heard, where people from all backgrounds can contribute to and share in our growth, and where opportunity and advancement is available to everyone.

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Attracting, developing, and retaining a talented workforce is essential to the success of our business and the realization of our purpose. Investments in our people are motivated by our desire to have an engaged and connected workforce. This results in high productivity and better results for IQVIA. In an industry as competitive as ours, we also recognize that employees who feel supported contribute to higher retention and recruitment rates.

Board Oversight of Human Capital Management. Our board of directors (the “Board”) receives regular updates on key human capital metrics, including recruitment and attrition rates, talent development data, and diversity statistics related to hiring, promotion and our overall workforce.

The Board also devotes significant time to leadership development and succession planning at the executive level and provides guidance on important decisions in each of these areas. The Leadership Development and Compensation Committee of the Board has primary responsibility for succession planning for the chief executive officer and oversight of succession planning for senior leadership.

Human Capital Management Strategy. Our employees are critical to our continued success and are a core element of our long-term strategy. Senior management is responsible for ensuring that our initiatives, policies, and processes reflect and reinforce our desired corporate culture, which we believe supports successful human capital management. Our human capital management strategy is built on three fundamental focus areas:

Recruitment. We consider a range of qualified candidates for all positions. We hire qualified individuals with a variety of backgrounds and experiences from both within and outside the organization for positions at all levels.

Development & Progression. We are committed to having a diverse pipeline of talent moving up in our organization and providing opportunities for all employees to develop within their current role as well as towards their next role. We do this by encouraging mentoring and establishing support networks as well as by providing tools to help employees map out and achieve their career goals.

Retention. We seek to develop a working environment where employees feel supported and want to stay. To increase employee engagement and retention, we consistently seek feedback from employees through surveys and focus groups and develop meaningful initiatives and programs to respond to their needs.

Employee Engagement. In 2021, we completed two company-wide employee surveys. The surveys provided a valuable opportunity to hear the perspectives of our workforce around the world, and was especially important during the largely remote working environment caused by the continuing pandemic. Maintaining regular and open channels of dialogue with employees and receiving and responding to their feedback with actionable and meaningful initiatives is critical to our human capital management strategy.

We received more than 54,000 responses in each of our 2021 surveys. The participation rate was an average of 76% across both surveys. In the latest survey, 85% of respondents indicated a favorable view of the Company's employee engagement, which is 4 points better than our prior year survey, and 4 points above the Fortune 500 company benchmark. Other areas where we saw favorable scores were: Employees feeling they are acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to be effective in their jobs (85%); employees would recommend IQVIA as a great place to work (84%); and employees feeling they are part of a team (85%).

Diversity and Inclusion. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion ("D&I") is reflected in the various policies, programs, training and support we offer, including our Employee Resource Groups, manager diversity and inclusion training and our highly diverse global workforce. This is a foundation of our approach to human capital. We create this culture for employees regardless of gender, race, color, creed, religion, marital status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected group status. In 2021, we continued to build on our existing programs. In recognition of the growth of our D&I programs globally, we hired a new senior leader of our D&I program. Although D&I is everyone’s responsibility, the objective of this new role is to have a dedicated resource accountable for evolving and strengthening our D&I strategy over the coming years.

Our global workforce operates in over 100 countries and represents approximately 90 different ethnicities. In the United States, approximately 62% of our employees identify as white and approximately 38% identify as Non-White, including 11% who identify as Black or African American. Approximately 60% of our employees globally are female and approximately 51% of employees worldwide at a manager level are female.
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Our growing network of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) provides a framework for employees to connect and collaborate with colleagues with similar interests. These groups support our values and business goals and foster the diverse thinking required for innovation. They provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and opportunities for mentoring and professional development.

There are seven global ERG, including two new ERGs we added in 2021: the Black Leadership Network and the Multi-Faith Network. All are employee-led, voluntary, and open to every employee. Each ERG has a mission that is aligned to our vision, values, and core operating principles.

Race, Ethnicity, and Cultural Heritage Group (REACH): aims to create a supportive and collaborative community for IQVIA employees who represent racial, ethnic and cultural minorities across the globe.

Emerging Professionals Network (EPN): builds community among leaders and emerging professionals through networking, personal development and volunteerism in order to pave the way for IQVIA's future growth and success.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) Group: supports the ability for all people at IQVIA to be their authentic selves by fostering an inclusive, equal, and inspiring culture for LGBT+ employees.

Veterans Employee Resource Group (VERG): offers opportunities and support through the IQVIA community to its veteran and active service members and family.

Women Inspired Network (WIN): fosters a corporate culture that inspires women to excel in their careers at IQVIA and within the biopharma industry.

Black Leadership Network (BLN) is open to all employees and aims to maintain an inclusive community that supports professional development, knowledge sharing, collaboration and business success for Black employees.

Multi-Faith Network (MFN) fosters a culture of openness and diversity and provides a place where IQVIA employees can connect with people of different faiths or no faith for mutual support.

In 2021, we grew our ERG membership to more than 4,000 participants worldwide, a 60% increase in membership over the past year, with multiple chapters being established across the globe.

Employee Well-being. Investing in resources and incentives to promote the personal well-being of our employees and their families is an important way we take care of our people. As a digital healthcare company, we also use our own in-house technical expertise to develop online tools to enable our employees to access resources quickly and seamlessly.

We provide a variety of health and welfare benefit plans that are available to employees and their family members, based on their location and specific country regulations. Plans may include medical, dental, and vision coverage; telemedicine and on-site medical care; critical illness coverage; disability, accidental death and dismemberment, pet and life insurance; tuition reimbursement; identity theft protection; commuter benefits; matching gift programs; and locally relevant savings and retirement plans such as pensions and 401(k) plans.

We provide parental leave for all full-time employees for the birth or adoption of a child, with variability in leave time dependent on location. We also provide paid leave for other life matters including sick time, bereavement, jury duty, military service, and time off for voting, depending on country specific policies.

Beyond health and welfare benefits, many regions also offer employee wellness programs. In the United States, our “Healthy You” wellness program offers employees a range of wellness benefits, including free flu shots, teledoc services, nutrition counseling, tobacco cessation support and reimbursement for wellness-related expenses.

Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to 100% of our workforce worldwide, an increase of 37% from the prior year, which completed our roll out of our EAP to the remainder of our workforce.

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Compensation and Benefits. IQVIA compensation programs support our overall strategy by linking employee compensation with both business and personal performance. This approach to compensation demonstrates our “pay for performance” philosophy, as well as our focus on providing compensation program that attract, retain and motivate and reward employees. In addition to the benefits described above, our compensation programs include base salaries, annual bonuses, and long-term incentive awards.

Talent and Learning. Helping our people grow, develop, and reach their full potential is a key component of our human capital management strategy. Nurturing talent is critical in a highly competitive industry, and it also keeps our employees motivated and engaged.

We invest in our employees’ development throughout their careers at IQVIA through our various talent and learning initiatives. Our strategy is focused on supporting business growth, optimizing our offerings through enhanced digital tools, and building the future leaders of IQVIA. At the same time, we are working to transform the employee experience and evolve our performance management approach to be more responsive to our employees’ experiences. Mirroring our overall culture, our approach to talent and learning is underpinned by the philosophy of empowerment, and we encourage all employees to take ownership of their careers.

We offer a suite of formal and informal learning opportunities, many which focus on business specific topics such as regulatory compliance, technology, analytics, clinical and therapy areas, and more. In 2021, we centralized all of our learning opportunities and provided access to all trainings to every employee worldwide through our Talent and Learning hub. Democratizing our training has given all employees a common, one-stop shop for all their talent and learning needs. There have been approximately 1 million visits to our Talent and Learning hub since its launch in mid-April 2021. The ease of access to training has resulted in the completion of approximately 1.45 million e-learning programs in various subjects, including technology, client-facing skills and project management skills.

We want our employees to have meaningful careers, and we are committed to the idea that career development is a result of growth through new experiences. To foster this growth, we engage employees on their purpose, strengths, and agility. We encourage employees to remain curious and flexible towards their career, exploring opportunities across the organization. Employees take ownership for their development in partnership with managers, mentors, and others. Similarly, performance management is driven by ongoing conversations about priorities, contributions and development.

In 2020, we introduced our Future Leaders Program, a robust training aimed to develop the next generation of leadership at IQVIA. In 2021, 85 attendees from 22 countries took part in the four-month virtual program, and nearly 150 employees have participated since the program’s inception. Sessions consisted of live webinars co-led by senior executives, peer coaching, business projects and skills assessments. Feedback continues to be positive, with 90% of participants saying the program will help them become more effective leaders, and 92% saying they will apply what they have learned.

In 2021, we also piloted our Emerging Leaders Program, targeted to employees at the manager level. Our first cohort included more than 204 people from 36 countries. Business leaders and subject matter experts from across the organization taught online sessions on topics such as agility, collaboration, executive presence and decision making. In addition, participants received peer coaching, 360-degree assessments and individual development plans.

Health and Safety. Ensuring the health and safety of our employees is essential, whether they work in our corporate offices or labs. We strive to create a culture of safety so our employees can remain healthy and productive.

We incorporate environmental laws and regulations into our policies and procedures throughout our organization. At the corporate level, we have group certifications to ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018. In accordance with both certifications, we have a robust, integrated Environmental, Health and Safety Management System (EHSMS) with supporting standard operating procedures in place, which demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement. Under our EHSMS, all employees must actively participate in helping to maintain a safe, healthy, and secure work environment. Our Code of Conduct describes the obligations of employees to maintain such an environment, follow all applicable safety and security rules and complete required training.

Q2 Solutions operates laboratories in the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Singapore, India, Japan, and China. Q2 facilities are certified to ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018. Depending on the location and services provided accreditation also will include ISO 14001, CAP ISO 15189, ISO 9001, NGSP Level 1, ANVISA, ISO45001, CDC Lipids, CLIA, MOH Certified Laboratory.
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Available Information

Our website address is www.iqvia.com, and our investor relations website is located at http://ir.iqvia.com. Information on our website is not incorporated by reference herein. Copies of our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and our proxy statements for our annual meetings of stockholders, and any amendments to those reports, as well as Section 16 reports filed by our insiders, are available free of charge on our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we file the reports with, or furnish the reports to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). In addition, the SEC maintains an Internet site (http://www.sec.gov) containing reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. Information on the SEC’s website does not constitute part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Also posted on our website are our certificate of incorporation and by-laws, the charters for our Audit Committee, Leadership Development and Compensation Committee and Nominating and Governance Committee, our Corporate Governance Guidelines, and our Code of Conduct governing our directors, officers and employees. Copies of our SEC reports and corporate governance information are available in print upon the request of any stockholder to our Investor Relations Department. Within the time period required by the SEC and the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), we will post on our website any amendment to the Code of Conduct or any waiver of such policy applicable to any of our senior financial officers, executive officers or directors.

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Item 1A. Risk Factors

RISK FACTORS

We operate in a rapidly changing environment that involves a number of risks, some of which are beyond our control. You should consider carefully the risks and uncertainties described below together with the other information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, in evaluating our Company. The occurrence of any of the following risks may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and future prospects.

Summary of Risk Factors

Below is a summary of some of the principal risks that could adversely affect our business, operations and financial results:

Risks Relating to Our Business
Our business and operations may be adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The potential loss or delay of contracts could adversely affect our results.
Our financial results may be adversely affected if we underprice our contracts, overrun our cost estimates or fail to receive approval for or experience delays in documenting change orders.
Failure to meet productivity objectives under our internal business transformation initiatives could adversely impact our competitiveness and harm our operating results.
If we are unsuccessful at investing in growth opportunities and are unable to develop and market new services or enter new markets, our growth, results of operations or financial condition could be adversely affected.
If we are unable to successfully identify, acquire and integrate existing businesses, services and technologies, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely impacted.
If we are unable to attract suitable investigators and patients for our clinical trials, our clinical development business might suffer.
If we lose the services of key personnel or are unable to recruit additional qualified personnel, our business could be adversely affected.
Intellectual Property
We depend on third parties for data and support services. Our suppliers or providers might restrict our use of or refuse to license data or provide services, which could lead to our inability to access certain data or provide certain services and, as a result, materially and adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.
Our success depends on our ability to protect our intellectual property rights.
We may be subject to claims by others that we are infringing on their intellectual property rights.
We rely on licenses from third parties to certain technology and intellectual property rights for some of our services and the licenses we currently have could terminate or expire.
IT systems and Information
Security breaches and unauthorized use of our IT systems and information could expose us, our clients, our data suppliers or others to risk of loss.
We may experience challenges with the acquisition, development, enhancement or deployment of technology necessary for our business.
Our business depends on the continued effectiveness and availability of our information systems, including the information systems we use to provide our services to our clients.
Data protection, privacy and similar laws restrict access, use and disclosure of personal information, and failure to comply with these laws could materially harm our business.
Client Risks
Consolidation in the industries in which our clients operate may reduce the volume of services purchased by consolidated clients following an acquisition or merger.
We may be adversely affected by client or therapeutic concentration.
Our relationships with existing or potential clients who are in competition with each other may adversely impact the degree to which other clients or potential clients use our services.
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There is a risk that we may initiate a clinical trial for a client, and then the client becomes unwilling or unable to fund the completion of the clinical trial, and we may be ethically bound to complete or wind down the clinical trial at our own expense.
Market Forces
Disruptions in the credit and capital markets and unfavorable general economic conditions could negatively affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our effective income tax rate may fluctuate for a variety of reasons.
Changes in accounting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) or other standard-setting bodies may adversely affect our financial statements.
Due to the global nature of our business we are subject to international economic, political and other risks that could negatively affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Climate change may have an impact on our business.
Liability Exposure
Our Research & Development Solutions business could subject us to potential liability.
Our Contract Sales & Medical Solutions business could result in liability to us if a drug causes harm to a patient.
Our insurance may not cover all of our indemnification obligations and other liabilities associated with our operations.
We may make mistakes in conducting a clinical trial that could negatively impact the usefulness of the clinical trial which could subject us to significant costs or liability.
If we fail to perform our services in accordance with contractual requirements, regulatory standards and ethical considerations, we could be subject to significant costs or liability.

Risks Relating to Our Industry
The biopharmaceutical services industry is highly competitive.
Outsourcing trends in the biopharmaceutical industry and changes in aggregate spending and research and development budgets could adversely affect our operating results and growth rate.
We may be affected by healthcare reform and potential additional reforms.
Actions by government regulators or clients to limit a prescription’s scope or withdraw an approved drug from the market could affect our business and result in a loss of revenues.
If we do not keep pace with rapid technological changes, our services may become less competitive or obsolete.
Laws restricting biopharmaceutical sales and marketing practices may adversely impact demand for our services.

Risks Relating to Our Indebtedness
Restrictions imposed in the Senior Secured Credit Facilities (as defined below) and other outstanding indebtedness, including the indentures governing outstanding notes issued by our wholly owned subsidiary IQVIA Inc., may limit our ability to operate our business and to finance our future operations or capital needs or to engage in other business activities.
Restrictive covenants in our other indebtedness may limit our flexibility in our current and future operations.
Interest rate fluctuations and our ability to deduct interest expense may affect our results of operations and financial condition.
We may be adversely affected by changes in the method of determining the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), or the replacement of LIBOR with an alternative reference rate.

Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock
Provisions of the corporate governance documents of IQVIA could make an acquisition of IQVIA difficult and may prevent attempts by its stockholders to replace or remove its management, even if beneficial to its stockholders.
Our operating results and share price may be volatile, which could cause the value of our stockholders’ investments to decline.
Our certificate of incorporation contains a provision renouncing any interest and expectancy in certain corporate opportunities identified by certain parties.

For a more complete discussion of the material risk facing our business, see below.


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Risks Relating to Our Business

Our business and operations has been and may in the future be adversely affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the various governmental, industry and consumer actions related thereto, had, and may continue to have, an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. These effects have included, and may include in the future, a negative impact on the availability of our key personnel, temporary closures of our facilities or the facilities of our business partners, customers, suppliers, third party service providers or other vendors, an increased risk of customer defaults or delays in payments or purchasing decisions, and the interruption of domestic and global supply chains, distribution channels, liquidity and capital or financial markets.

As COVID-19, including any variants, continues to spread, we have and may in the future experience disruptions that could severely impact our business, including:

closure or inaccessibility of clinical site locations;
delays or difficulties in enrolling patients in our clinical trials and starting new clinical trials;
delays or difficulties in clinical site initiation, including difficulties in recruiting clinical site investigators and clinical site staff;
interruption of key clinical trial activities, such as clinical trial site monitoring, due to limitations on travel imposed or recommended by federal or state governments, employers and others;
delays in receiving approval from local regulatory authorities to initiate our planned clinical trials;
significant disruption in our businesses that rely on face-to-face interactions or are dependent on in-person gatherings, events or conferences; and
significant and unpredictable reductions or increases in demand for certain of our offerings.

In addition, we have directed a substantial portion of our workforce to work from home while the outbreak persists in order to help minimize the risk of COVID-19 to our employees. Having a significant portion of our workforce working from home has caused an increased risk of loss of productivity, greater cybersecurity risk, and increased risk to our system of internal controls over financial reporting. To the extent global conditions improve, the duration and sustainability of any such improvements will be uncertain and continuing adverse impacts and/or the degree of improvement may vary by geography. The actions we take in response to any improvements in conditions, such as our return-to-office plans, may also vary by geography and by business and will likely be made with incomplete information. There is a risk that such actions may prove to be premature, incorrect or insufficient and could have a material and adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

Further, the effects of the pandemic may also increase our cost of capital or make additional capital more difficult or available only on terms less favorable to us.

The potential loss or delay of our large contracts or of multiple contracts could adversely affect our results.

Most of our Research & Development Solutions clients can terminate our contracts upon 30 to 90 days' notice. Our clients may delay, terminate or reduce the scope of our contracts for a variety of reasons beyond our control, including but not limited to:

decisions to forego or terminate a particular clinical trial;
lack of available financing, budgetary limits or changing priorities;
actions by regulatory authorities;
production problems resulting in shortages of the drug being tested;
failure of products being tested to satisfy safety requirements or efficacy criteria;
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unexpected or undesired clinical results for products;
insufficient patient enrollment in a clinical trial;
insufficient investigator recruitment;
shift of business to a competitor or internal resources;
product withdrawal following market launch; or
shut down of manufacturing facilities.
The COVID-19 pandemic, or a similar global event, could also exacerbate many of the above situations and cause delays, changes in scope or cancellation of our contracts. As a result, contract terminations, delays and alterations are a regular part of our Research & Development Solutions business. In the event of termination, our contracts often provide for fees for winding down the project, but these fees may not be sufficient for us to realize the full amount of revenues or profits anticipated under the related services contracts, and termination may result in lower resource utilization rates. In addition, we will not realize the full benefits of our backlog of contractually committed services if our clients cancel, delay or reduce their commitments under our contracts with them, which may occur if, among other things, a client decides to shift its business to a competitor or revoke our status as a preferred provider. Thus, the loss or delay of a large contract or the loss or delay of multiple contracts could adversely affect our revenues and profitability. We believe the risk of loss or delay of multiple contracts potentially has greater effect where we are party to broader partnering arrangements with global biopharmaceutical companies.

We depend on third parties for data and support services. Our suppliers or providers might restrict our use of or refuse to license data or provide services, which could lead to our inability to access certain data or provide certain services and, as a result, materially and adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.

Each of our Technology & Analytics Solutions information services is derived from data we collect from third parties. These data suppliers are numerous and diverse, reflecting the broad scope of information that we collect and use in our business.

Although we typically enter into long-term contractual arrangements with many of these suppliers of data, at the time of entry into a new contract or renewal of an existing contract, suppliers may increase restrictions on our use of such data, increase the price they charge us for data or refuse altogether to license the data to us. In addition, during the term of any data supply contract, suppliers may fail to adhere to our data quality control standards or fail to deliver data. Further, although no single individual data supplier is material to our business, if a number of suppliers collectively representing a significant amount of data that we use for one or more of our services were to impose additional contractual restrictions on our use of or access to data, fail to adhere to our quality-control standards, repeatedly fail to deliver data or refuse to provide data, now or in the future, our ability to provide those services to our clients could be materially adversely impacted, which may harm our operating results and financial condition.

Additionally, we depend on third parties for support services to our business. Such support services include, but are not limited to, third- party transportation providers, suppliers of drugs for patients participating in clinical trials, suppliers of kits for use in our clinical trial laboratories business, suppliers of reagents for use in our testing equipment and providers of maintenance contracts for our equipment. The failure of any of these third parties to adequately provide the critical support services could have a material adverse effect on our business.


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If we fail to perform our services in accordance with contractual requirements, regulatory standards and ethical considerations, we could be subject to significant costs or liability and our reputation could be harmed.

We contract with biopharmaceutical companies to perform a wide range of services to assist them in bringing new drugs to market. Our services include monitoring clinical trials, data and laboratory analysis, electronic data capture, patient recruitment and other related services, and we perform these services in a number of ways, including through physical and technology-enabled efforts. Such services are complex and subject to contractual requirements, regulatory standards and ethical considerations. For example, we must adhere to regulatory requirements such as the FDA and current GCP and Good Laboratory Practice requirements. If we fail to perform our services in accordance with these requirements, regulatory agencies may take action against us for failure to comply with applicable regulations governing clinical trials or sales and marketing practices. Such actions may include sanctions, such as injunctions or failure of such regulatory authorities to grant marketing approval of products, delay, suspension or withdrawal of approvals, license revocation, product seizures or recalls, operational restrictions, civil or criminal penalties or prosecutions, damages or fines. Clients may also bring claims against us for breach of our contractual obligations and patients in the clinical trials and patients taking drugs approved on the basis of those clinical trials may bring personal injury claims against us for negligence. Any such action could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and reputation.

Such consequences could arise if, among other things, the following occur:

Improper performance of our services. The performance of clinical development services is complex and time-consuming. For example, we may make mistakes in conducting a clinical trial that could negatively impact or obviate the usefulness of the clinical trial or cause the results of the clinical trial to be reported improperly. If the clinical trial results are compromised, we could be subject to significant costs or liability, which could have an adverse impact on our ability to perform our services. As examples:

non-compliance generally could result in the termination of ongoing clinical trials or sales and marketing projects or the disqualification of data for submission to regulatory authorities;

compromise of data from a particular clinical trial, such as failure to verify that informed consent was obtained from patients, could require us to repeat the clinical trial under the terms of our contract at no further cost to our client, but at a substantial cost to us; and

breach of a contractual term could result in liability for damages or termination of the contract.

Large clinical trials can cost up to hundreds of millions of dollars, and while we endeavor to contractually limit our exposure to such risks, improper performance of our services could have an adverse effect on our financial condition, damage our reputation and result in the cancellation of current contracts by or failure to obtain future contracts from the affected client or other clients.

Investigation of clients. From time to time, one or more of our clients are audited or investigated by regulatory authorities or enforcement agencies with respect to regulatory compliance of their clinical trials, programs or the marketing and sale of their drugs. In these situations, we have often provided services to our clients with respect to the clinical trials, programs or activities being audited or investigated, and we are called upon to respond to requests for information by the authorities and agencies. There is a risk that either our clients or regulatory authorities could claim that we performed our services improperly or that we are responsible for clinical trial or program compliance. If our clients or regulatory authorities make such claims against us and prove them, we could be subject to damages, fines or penalties. In addition, negative publicity regarding regulatory compliance of our clients’ clinical trials, programs or drugs could have an adverse effect on our business and reputation.

Insufficient client funding to complete a clinical trial. As noted above, clinical trials can cost hundreds of millions of dollars. There is a risk that we may initiate a clinical trial for a client, and then the client becomes unwilling or unable to fund the completion of the clinical trial. In such a situation, notwithstanding the client’s ability or willingness to pay for or otherwise facilitate the completion of the clinical trial, we may be ethically bound to complete or wind down the clinical trial at our own expense.


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Security breaches and unauthorized use of our IT systems and information, or the IT systems or information in the possession of our vendors, could expose us, our clients, our data suppliers or others to risk of loss.

We rely upon the security of our computer and communications systems infrastructure to protect us from cyberattacks and unauthorized access. Cyberattacks can include malware, computer viruses, hacking or other significant disruption of our computer, communications and related systems. Cyber threats are rapidly evolving and are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Despite our efforts to ensure the integrity of our systems, as cyber threats evolve and become more difficult to detect and successfully defend against, one or more cyber threats might defeat the measures that we or our vendors take to anticipate, detect, avoid or mitigate such threats. Certain techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, introduce malicious software, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems may be designed to remain dormant until a triggering event and we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or implement adequate preventative measures since techniques change frequently or are not recognized until launched, and because cyberattacks can originate from a wide variety of sources. Although we take steps to manage and avoid these risks and to prevent their recurrence, our preventive and remedial actions may not be successful. Such attacks, whether successful or unsuccessful, could result in our incurring costs related to, for example, rebuilding internal systems, defending against litigation, responding to regulatory inquiries or actions, paying damages or fines, or taking other remedial steps with respect to third parties. Publicity about vulnerabilities and attempted or successful incursions could damage our reputation with clients and data suppliers and reduce demand for our services.

We also store proprietary and sensitive information in connection with our business, which could be compromised by a cyberattack. To the extent that any disruption or security breach results in a loss or damage to our data, an inappropriate disclosure of proprietary or sensitive information, an inability to access data sources, or an inability to process data or provide our offerings to our clients, it could cause significant damage to our reputation, affect our relationships with our data suppliers and clients (including loss of suppliers and clients), lead to claims against us and ultimately harm our business. We may be required to incur significant costs to alleviate, remedy or protect against damage caused by these disruptions or security breaches in the future. We may also face inquiry or increased scrutiny from government agencies as a result of any such disruption or breach. While we have insurance coverage for certain instances of a cyber security breach, our coverage may not be sufficient if we suffer a significant attack or multiple attacks. Any such breach or disruption could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and our reputation as a service provider.

Some of our vendors have significant responsibility for the security of certain of our data centers and computer-based platforms or software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications upon which our businesses rely to host or process data or to perform various functions. Also, our data suppliers have responsibility for security of their own computer and communications environments. These third parties face risks relating to cyber security similar to ours, which could disrupt their businesses and therefore materially impact ours. Accordingly, we are subject to any flaw in or breaches to their computer and communications systems or those that they operate for us, which could result in a material adverse effect on our business, operations and financial results.

Failure to meet productivity objectives under our internal business transformation initiatives could adversely impact our competitiveness and harm our operating results.

We are pursuing business transformation initiatives to update technology, increase innovation and obtain operating efficiencies. As part of these initiatives, which include accelerating site start-up timelines and improving our customer buying experience, we seek to improve our productivity, flexibility, quality, functionality and cost savings by investing in the development and implementation of global platforms and integration of our business processes and functions to achieve economies of scale. These various initiatives may not yield their intended gains, or be completed in timely manner, which may impact our competitiveness and our ability to meet our growth objectives and, as a result, materially and adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.

If we are unsuccessful at investing in growth opportunities, our business could be materially and adversely affected.

We continue to invest significantly in growth opportunities, including the development and acquisition of new data, technologies and services to meet our clients’ needs. For example, we are expanding our services and technology offerings, such as the development of a cloud-based platform with a growing number of applications to support commercial and clinical operations for life sciences companies (e.g., multi-channel marketing, marketing campaign management, customer relationship management, incentive compensation management, targeting and segmentation, performance management, site engagement payments, trial master file, risk based monitoring, in-home nursing and other services, clinical trial management and decentralized trials and other applications). We also continue to invest significantly in growth opportunities in emerging markets, such as the development, launch and enhancement of services in China, India, Russia, Turkey, and other countries. We consider our presence in these markets to be an important component of our growth strategy.
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There is no assurance that our investment plans or growth strategy will be successful or will produce a sufficient or any return on our investments. Further, if we are unable to develop new technologies and services, clients do not purchase our new technologies and services, our new technologies and services do not work as intended or there are delays in the availability or adoption of our new technologies and services, then we may not be able to grow our business or growth may occur slower than anticipated. Additionally, although we expect continued growth in healthcare spending in emerging markets, such spending may occur more slowly or not at all, and we may not benefit from our investments in these markets.

We plan to fund growth opportunities with cash from operations or from future financings. There can be no assurance that those sources will be available in sufficient amounts to fund future growth opportunities when needed.

Any of the foregoing could have a material and adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.

Data protection, privacy and similar laws in the United States and around the world restrict access, use and disclosure of personal information, and failure to comply with or adapt to changes in these laws could materially and adversely harm our business.

The confidentiality, collection, use, retention, security, transfer and disclosure of personal data, including individually identifiable health information and clinical trial patient-specific information, are subject to governmental regulation generally in the country that the personal data were collected or used (collectively, "Privacy Laws"). For example, United States federal regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) create specific requirements for the protection of the privacy and security of individual health information. These provisions apply to both “covered entities” (primarily health care providers and health insurers) and their “business associates” or service providers. As there are some instances where we are a HIPAA “business associate” of a “covered entity,” we can be directly liable for mishandling protected health information. Under HIPAA’s enforcement scheme, we can be subject to significant penalties in connection with HIPAA violations, along with the potential for significant other expenditures related to these activities. These rules require individuals’ written authorization in many situations, in addition to any required informed consent, before protected health information may be used for research. We are both directly and indirectly affected by the privacy provisions surrounding individual authorizations because many investigators with whom we are involved in clinical trials are directly subject to them as a HIPAA “covered entity” and because we obtain identifiable health information from third parties that are subject to such regulations.

In general, patient health information is among the most sensitive (and highly regulated) of personal information. Privacy Laws in the United States and around the world are designed to ensure that information about an individual’s healthcare is properly protected from inappropriate access, use and disclosure. Privacy Laws also include the European Union’s (“EU”) General Data Protection Regulation, Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and other data protection, privacy, data security, data localization and similar national, state/provincial and local laws. In the EU, personal data includes any information that relates to an identifiable natural person. Health information about an identifiable person carries additional obligations under EU law, including obtaining the explicit consent from the individual for collection, use or disclosure of the information. In addition, we are subject to EU rules with respect to cross-border transfers of such data out of the EU (along with similar data transfer requirements or data localization requirements in other countries).

We have established frameworks, models, processes and technologies to manage privacy and security for many data types, from a variety of sources, and under a myriad of Privacy Laws. In addition, we rely on our data suppliers to deliver information to us in a form and in a manner that complies with applicable Privacy Laws. These laws are complex and there is no assurance that the safeguards and controls employed by us or our data suppliers will be sufficient to prevent a breach of these laws, or that claims will not be filed against us or our data suppliers despite such safeguards and controls. Failure to comply with such laws, certain certification/registration and annual re-certification/registration provisions associated with these data protection and privacy regulations, and similar rules in various jurisdictions, or to resolve any serious privacy complaints, may result in, among other things, regulatory sanctions, criminal prosecution, civil liability, negative publicity, damage to our reputation, or data being blocked from use or liability under contractual provisions. For example, in July 2015, indictments were issued by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office in South Korea against IMS Korea and two of its employees, among others, alleging improper handling of sensitive health information in violation of applicable privacy laws. See Item 3 “Legal Proceedings” for additional information.

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Laws and expectations relating to privacy continue to evolve, and we continue to adapt to changing needs. For example, the definition of “personally identifiable information” and “personal data” continues to evolve and broaden and many new laws and regulations are being enacted. In addition, certain established programs have been (or are at risk of being) declared invalid (such as the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework that operated for several years but was struck down by the European Court of Justice in July, 2020), so that this area remains in a state of flux. Changes to these programs may adversely impact our ability to provide services to our clients or develop new products or services. Federal, state and foreign governments are contemplating or have proposed or adopted new Privacy Laws or modifications to existing Privacy Laws, including by amendment, replacement or interpretation through judicial or administrative decisions. New or modified Privacy Laws might, among other things, require us to implement new security measures and processes or bring within the scope of the Privacy Law other data not currently regulated, each of which may require substantial expenditures or limit our ability to offer some of our services. Additionally, changes in Privacy Laws may limit our data access, use and disclosure, and may require increased expenditures by us or may dictate that we not offer certain types of services. Any of the foregoing may have a material adverse impact on our ability to provide services to our clients or maintain our profitability.

There is ongoing concern from privacy advocates, regulators and others regarding data protection and privacy issues, and the number of jurisdictions with Privacy Laws has been increasing. Also, there are ongoing public policy discussions regarding whether the standards for de-identified, anonymous or pseudonymized health information are sufficient, and the risk of re-identification sufficiently small, to adequately protect patient privacy. These discussions may lead to further restrictions on the use of such information. There can be no assurance that these initiatives or future initiatives will not adversely affect our ability to access and use data or to develop or market current or future services.

Many Privacy Laws protect more than patient information, and although they vary by jurisdiction, these laws can extend to employee information, business contact information, provider information and other information relating to identifiable individuals. Failure to comply with these laws may result in, among other things, civil and criminal liability, negative publicity, damage to our reputation and liability under contractual provisions. In addition, compliance with such laws may require increased costs to us or may dictate that we not offer certain types of services.

The occurrence of any of the foregoing could impact our ability to provide the same level of service to our clients, require us to modify our offerings or increase our costs, which could materially and adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.

Our success depends on our ability to protect our intellectual property rights.

Our success depends, in part, upon our ability to develop, use and protect our proprietary methodologies, analytics, systems, technologies and other intellectual property. We rely upon a combination of trade secrets, confidentiality policies, nondisclosure, invention assignment and other contractual arrangements, and patent, copyright and trademark laws, to protect our intellectual property rights. These laws are subject to change at any time and certain agreements may not be fully enforceable, which could further restrict our ability to protect our innovations. Further, these laws may not provide adequate protection for our intellectual property, particularly in countries in which the legal system provides less protection for intellectual property rights. Our intellectual property rights may not prevent competitors from independently developing services similar to or duplicative of ours. Further, the steps we take in this regard might not be adequate to prevent or deter infringement or other misappropriation of our intellectual property by competitors, former employees or other third parties, and we might not be able to detect unauthorized use of, or take appropriate and timely steps to enforce, our intellectual property rights.

Our ability to obtain, protect and enforce our intellectual property rights is subject to general litigation or third-party opposition risks, as well as the uncertainty as to the scope of protection, registrability, patentability, validity and enforceability of our intellectual property rights in each applicable country. Governments may adopt regulations, and government agencies or courts may render decisions, requiring compulsory licensing of intellectual property rights. When we seek to enforce our intellectual property rights, we may be subject to claims that the intellectual property rights are invalid or unenforceable. Litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights and to protect our confidential and proprietary information. Litigation brought to protect and enforce our intellectual property rights could be costly, time consuming and distracting to management and could result in the impairment or loss of portions of our intellectual property rights. Furthermore, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights may be met with defenses, counterclaims and countersuits attacking the validity and enforceability of our intellectual property rights. Our inability to protect our proprietary technology against unauthorized copying or use, as well as any costly litigation or diversion of our management’s attention and resources, could delay further sales or the implementation of our solutions, impair the functionality of our solutions, delay introductions of new solutions, result in our substituting inferior or more costly technologies into our solutions, or injure our reputation and harm our operating results and financial condition.
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The theft or unauthorized use or publication of our trade secrets and other confidential business information could reduce the differentiation of our services and harm our business; the value of our investment in development or business acquisitions could be reduced; and third parties might make claims against us related to losses of their confidential or proprietary information. In addition, we may not be able to discover or determine the extent of any unauthorized use of our proprietary rights. Third parties that license our proprietary rights also may take actions that diminish the value of our proprietary rights or reputation. The protection of our intellectual property may require the expenditure of significant financial and managerial resources. Moreover, the steps we take to protect our intellectual property may not adequately protect our rights or prevent third parties from infringing or misappropriating our proprietary rights. These incidents and claims could harm our business, reduce revenue, increase expenses and harm our reputation.

We may be subject to claims by others that we are infringing on their intellectual property rights.

Third parties may assert claims that we or our clients infringe their intellectual property rights and these claims, with or without merit, could be expensive to litigate, cause us to incur substantial costs and divert management resources and attention in defending the claim. In some jurisdictions, plaintiffs can also seek injunctive relief that may limit the operation of our business or prevent the marketing and selling of our services that infringe on the plaintiff’s intellectual property rights. To resolve these claims, we may enter into licensing agreements with restrictive terms or significant fees, stop selling, be required to implement costly redesigns to the affected services, or pay damages to satisfy contractual obligations to others. If we do not resolve these claims in advance of a trial, there is no guarantee that we will be successful in court. These outcomes may have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results and financial condition.

In addition, certain contracts with our suppliers or clients contain provisions whereby we indemnify, subject to certain limitations, the counterparty for damages suffered as a result of claims related to intellectual property infringement and the use of data. Claims made under these provisions could be expensive to litigate and could result in significant payments.

We rely on licenses from third parties to certain technology and intellectual property rights for some of our services and the licenses we currently have could terminate or expire.

Some of our business services rely on technology or intellectual property rights owned and controlled by others. Our licenses to this technology or these intellectual property rights could be terminated or could expire. We may be unable to replace these licenses in a timely manner. Failure to renew these licenses, or renewals of these licenses on less advantageous terms, could harm our operating results and financial condition.

Our financial results may be adversely affected if we underprice our contracts, overrun our cost estimates or fail to receive approval for or experience delays in documenting change orders.

Most of our Research & Development Solutions contracts are either fee for service contracts or fixed-fee contracts. Our past financial results have been, and our future financial results may be, adversely impacted if we initially underprice our contracts or otherwise overrun our cost estimates and are unable to successfully negotiate a change order. Change orders typically occur when the scope of work we perform needs to be modified from that originally contemplated by our contract with the client. Modifications can occur, for example, when there is a change in a key clinical trial assumption or parameter or a significant change in timing. Where we are not successful in converting out-of-scope work into change orders under our current contracts, we bear the cost of the additional work. Such underpricing, significant cost overruns or delay in documentation of change orders could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.


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The relationship of backlog to revenues varies over time.

Backlog represents future revenues for our Research & Development Solutions business from work not yet completed or performed under signed binding commitments and signed contracts. Once work begins on a project, revenue is recognized over the duration of the project. Projects may be terminated or delayed by the client or delayed by regulatory authorities for reasons beyond our control. To the extent projects are delayed, the timing of our revenue could be affected. In the event that a client cancels a contract, we typically would be entitled to receive payment for all services performed up to the cancellation date and subsequent client-authorized services related to terminating the canceled project. Typically, however, we have no contractual right to the full amount of the revenue reflected in our backlog in the event of a contract cancellation. The duration of the projects included in our backlog, and the related revenue recognition, range from a few weeks to many years. Our backlog may not be indicative of our future revenues from our Research & Development Solutions business, and we may not realize all the anticipated future revenue reflected in our backlog. A number of factors may affect backlog, including:


the size, complexity and duration of the projects;

the percentage of full services versus functional services;

the cancellation or delay of projects; and

change in the scope of work during the course of a project.

Although an increase in backlog will generally result in an increase in revenues to be recognized over time (depending on the level of cancellations), an increase in backlog at a particular point in time does not necessarily correspond directly to an increase in revenues during a particular period. The extent to which contracts in backlog will result in revenue depends on many factors, including but not limited to delivery against projected schedules, the need for scope changes (change orders), contract cancellations and the nature, duration, size, complexity and phase of the contracts, each of which factors can vary significantly from time to time.

The rate at which our backlog converts to revenue may vary over time for a variety of reasons. The revenue recognition on larger, more global projects could be slower than on smaller, less global projects for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to an extended period of negotiation between the time the project is awarded to us and the actual execution of the contract, as well as an increased timeframe for obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals. Additionally, the increased complexity of the drug development pipeline and the need to enroll precise patient populations could extend the length of clinical trials causing revenue to be recognized over a longer period of time. Further, delayed projects will remain in backlog, unless otherwise canceled by the client, and will not generate revenue at the rate originally expected. Thus, the relationship of backlog to realized revenues may vary over time.

Our business depends on the continued effectiveness and availability of our information systems, including the information systems we use to provide our services to our clients, and failures of these systems may materially limit our operations.

Due to the global nature of our business and our reliance on information systems to provide our services, we intend to increase our use of web-enabled and other integrated information systems in delivering our services. We also provide access to similar information systems to certain of our clients in connection with the services we provide them. As the breadth and complexity of our information systems continue to grow, we will increasingly be exposed to the risks inherent in the development, integration and ongoing operation of evolving information systems, including:

disruption, impairment or failure of data centers, telecommunications facilities or other key infrastructure platforms;

security breaches of, cyberattacks on and other failures or malfunctions in our critical application systems or their associated hardware; and

excessive costs, excessive delays or other deficiencies in systems development and deployment.

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The materialization of any of these risks may impede the processing of data, the delivery of databases and services, and the day-to-day management of our business and could result in the corruption, loss or unauthorized disclosure of proprietary, confidential or other data. While we have disaster recovery plans in place, they might not adequately protect us in the event of a system failure. While many of our operations have disaster recovery plans in place, we currently do not have excess or standby computer processing or network capacity everywhere in the world to avoid disruption in the receipt, processing and delivery of data in the event of a system failure. Despite any precautions we take, damage from fire, floods, hurricanes, power loss, telecommunications failures, computer viruses, break-ins and similar events at our various computer facilities could result in interruptions in the flow of data to our servers and from our servers to our clients. Corruption or loss of data may result in the need to repeat a clinical trial at no cost to the client, but at significant cost to us, the termination of a contract or damage to our reputation.

In addition, any failure by our computer environment to provide sufficient processing or network capacity to transfer data could result in interruptions in our service. In the event of a delay in the delivery of data, we could be required to transfer our data collection operations to an alternative provider of server hosting services. Such a transfer could result in significant delays in our ability to deliver services to our clients and increase our costs. Additionally, significant delays in system enhancements or inadequate performance of new or upgraded systems once completed could damage our reputation and harm our business. Finally, long-term disruptions in the infrastructure caused by events such as natural disasters, the outbreak of war, the escalation of hostilities and acts of terrorism, particularly involving cities in which we have offices, could adversely affect our businesses. Although we carry property and business interruption insurance, our coverage might not be adequate to compensate us for all losses that may occur.

We have continued to undertake significant programs to optimize business processes with respect to our services. Our inability to effectively manage the implementation and adapt to new processes designed into new or upgraded systems in a timely and cost-effective manner may result in disruption to our business and negatively affect our operations.

We have entered into agreements with certain vendors to provide systems development and integration services that develop or license to us the IT platform for programs to optimize our business processes. If such vendors fail to perform as required or if there are substantial delays in developing, implementing and updating the IT platform, our client delivery may be impaired, and we may have to make substantial further investments, internally or with third parties, to achieve our objectives. Additionally, our progress may be limited by parties with existing or claimed patents who seek to enjoin us from using preferred technology or seek license payments from us. Meeting our objectives is dependent on a number of factors which may not take place as we anticipate, including obtaining adequate technology-enabled services, creating IT-enabled services that our clients will find desirable and implementing our business model with respect to these services. Also, increased IT-related expenditures may negatively impact our profitability.

We may experience challenges with the acquisition, development, enhancement or deployment of technology necessary for our business.

We operate in businesses that require sophisticated computer systems and software for data collection, data processing, cloud-based platforms, analytics, cryptography, statistical projections and forecasting, mobile computing, social media analytics and other applications and technologies, particularly in our Technology & Analytics Solutions and Research & Development Solutions businesses. We seek to address our technology risks by increasing our reliance on the use of innovations by cross-industry technology leaders and adapt these for our biopharmaceutical and healthcare industry clients. Some of these technologies supporting the industries we serve are changing rapidly and we must continue to adapt to these changes in a timely and effective manner at an acceptable cost. We also must continue to deliver data to our clients in forms that are easy to use while simultaneously providing clear answers to complex questions. There can be no guarantee that we will be able to develop, acquire or integrate new technologies, that these new technologies will meet our needs or those of our clients’ needs or achieve expected investment goals, or that we will be able to do so as quickly or cost-effectively as our competitors. Significant technological change could render certain of our services obsolete. Moreover, the introduction of new services embodying new technologies could render certain of our existing services obsolete. Our continued success will depend on our ability to adapt to changing technologies, manage and process ever-increasing amounts of data and information and improve the performance, features and reliability of our services in response to changing client and industry demands. We may experience difficulties that could delay or prevent the successful design, development, testing, introduction or marketing of our services. New services, or enhancements to existing services, may not adequately meet our own requirements or those of current and prospective clients or achieve any degree of significant market acceptance. These types of failures could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, financial condition and reputation.


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Consolidation in the industries in which our clients operate may reduce the volume of services purchased by consolidated clients following an acquisition or merger, which could materially harm our operating results and financial condition.

Mergers or consolidations among our clients have in the past and could in the future reduce the number of our clients and potential clients. When companies consolidate, overlapping services previously purchased separately are usually purchased only once by the combined entity, leading to loss of revenue. Other services that were previously purchased by one of the merged or consolidated entities may be deemed unnecessary or cancelled. If our clients merge with or are acquired by other entities that are not our clients, or that use fewer of our services, they may discontinue or reduce their use of our services. There can be no assurance as to the degree to which we may be able to address the revenue impact of such consolidation. Any of these developments could materially harm our operating results and financial condition.

We may be adversely affected by client or therapeutic concentration.

Although we did not have any client that represented 10% or more of our revenues in 2021, 2020 and 2019, we derive the majority of our revenues from a number of large clients. If any large client decreases or terminates its relationship with us, our business, results of operations or financial condition could be materially adversely affected.

Additionally, conducting multiple clinical trials for different clients in a single therapeutic class involving drugs with the same or similar chemical action has in the past and may in the future adversely affect our business if some or all of the clinical trials are canceled because of new scientific information or regulatory judgments that affect the drugs as a class or if industry consolidation results in the rationalization of drug development pipelines. Similarly, marketing and selling drugs for different biopharmaceutical companies with similar chemical actions subjects us to risk if new scientific information or regulatory judgment prejudices the drugs as a class, which may lead to compelled or voluntary prescription limitations or withdrawal of some or all of such drugs from the market.

Our business is subject to international economic, political and other risks that could negatively affect our results of operations and financial condition.

We have significant operations in countries that may require complex arrangements to deliver services throughout the world for our clients. Additionally, we have established operations in locations remote from our most developed business centers. As a result, we are subject to heightened risks inherent in conducting business internationally, including the following:

required compliance with a variety of local laws and regulations which may be materially different than those to which we are subject in the United States or which may change unexpectedly; for example, conducting a single clinical trial across multiple countries is complex, and issues in one country, such as a failure to comply with local regulations or restrictions, may affect the progress of the clinical trial in the other countries, for example, by limiting the amount of data necessary for a clinical trial to proceed, resulting in delays or potential cancellation of contracts, which in turn may result in loss of revenue;

the United States or foreign countries could enact legislation or impose regulations or other restrictions, including unfavorable labor regulations, tax policies or economic sanctions, which could have an adverse effect on our ability to conduct business in or expatriate profits from the countries in which we operate, including hiring, retaining and overseeing qualified management personnel for managing operations in multiple countries, differing employment practices and labor issues, and tax-related risks, including the imposition of taxes and the lack of beneficial treaties, that result in a higher effective tax rate for us;

foreign countries are expanding or may expand their regulatory framework with respect to patient informed consent, protection and compensation in clinical trials, which could delay or inhibit our ability to conduct clinical trials in such jurisdictions;

the regulatory or judicial authorities of foreign countries may not enforce legal rights and recognize business procedures in a manner in which we are accustomed or would reasonably expect;

local, economic, political and social conditions, including potential hyperinflationary conditions, political instability, and potential nationalization, repatriation, expropriation, price controls or other restrictive government actions, including changes in political and economic conditions may lead to changes in the business environment in which we operate, as well as changes in foreign currency exchange rates;
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immigration laws are subject to legislative change and varying standards of application and enforcement due to political forces, economic conditions or other events (including proposals in the U.S. to change limitations on temporary and permanent workers), and local immigration laws may require us to meet certain other legal requirements as a condition to obtaining or maintaining entry visas, which may impact our ability to provide services to our clients;

potential violations of local laws or anti-bribery laws, such as the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), and the UK Bribery Act, may cause difficulty in managing foreign operations, as well as significant consequences to us if those laws are violated;

regulatory changes and economic conditions following the UK’s exit from the EU (“Brexit”), including uncertainties as to its effect on trade laws, tariffs, instability and volatility in the global financial and currency markets, conflicting or redundant regulatory regimes in Europe and political stability;

clients in foreign jurisdictions may have longer payment cycles, and it may be more difficult to collect receivables in foreign jurisdictions; and

natural disasters, public health emergencies and pandemics such as the COVID-19, including any variants, or international conflict, including terrorist acts, could interrupt our services, endanger our personnel, lower patient visits and increase patient drop-out rates, cause delays in recruitment of new patients, decrease the productivity of our clinical research associates, cause other project delays or loss of clinical trial materials or results.

These risks and uncertainties could negatively impact our ability to, among other things, perform large, global projects for our clients. Furthermore, our ability to deal with these issues could be affected by applicable United States laws and the need to protect our assets. Any such risks could have an adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

Climate change may have an impact on our business.

While we have determined that, at this time, climate change does not present a material risk to our business given the nature of our activities, we continue to evaluate and mitigate our business risks associated with climate change, and we recognize that there are inherent climate-related risks wherever business is conducted. Any of our office or IT systems locations may be vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Furthermore, climate change may impact patients in our clinical trials and our employees, particularly where they work remotely. Changing market dynamics, global policy developments, and the increasing frequency and impact of extreme weather events on critical infrastructure have the potential to disrupt our business, the business of our third-party suppliers, and the business of our customers, and may cause us to experience losses and additional costs to maintain or resume operations.

Exchange rate fluctuations may affect our results of operations and financial condition.

Because a large portion of our revenues and expenses are denominated in currencies other than the United States dollar and our financial statements are reported in United States dollars, changes in foreign currency exchange rates could significantly affect our results of operations and financial condition. Exchange rate fluctuations between local currencies and the United States dollar create risk in several ways, including:

Foreign Currency Translation Risk. The revenue and expenses of our foreign operations are generally denominated in local currencies and translated into United States dollars for financial reporting purposes. Accordingly, exchange rate fluctuations will affect the translation of foreign results into United States dollars for purposes of reporting our consolidated results.

Foreign Currency Transaction Risk. We are subject to foreign currency transaction risk for fluctuations in exchange rates during the period of time between the consummation and cash settlement of a transaction. We earn revenue from our service contracts over a period of several months and, in some cases, over several years. Accordingly, exchange rate fluctuations during this period may affect our profitability with respect to such contracts.

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We may limit these risks through exchange rate fluctuation provisions stated in our service contracts, or we may hedge our transaction risk with foreign currency exchange contracts or options. We have not, however, hedged all of our foreign currency transaction risk, and we may experience fluctuations in financial results from our operations outside the United States and foreign currency transaction risk associated with our service contracts.

Due to the global nature of our business, we may be exposed to liabilities under anti-corruption laws, including the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the United Kingdom Bribery Act and various international anti-corruption laws, and any allegation or determination that we violated these laws could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We are required to comply with the FCPA, the UK Bribery Act and other international anti-corruption laws, which prohibit companies from engaging in bribery including corruptly or improperly offering, promising, or providing money or anything else of value to non-United States officials and certain other recipients. In addition, the FCPA imposes certain books, records, and accounting control obligations on public companies and other issuers. We operate in parts of the world in which corruption can be common and compliance with anti-bribery laws may conflict with local customs and practices. Our global operations face the risk of unauthorized payments or offers being made by employees, consultants, sales agents, and other business partners outside of our control or without our authorization. It is our policy to implement safeguards to prohibit these practices by our employees and business partners with respect to our operations. However, irrespective of these safeguards, or as a result of monitoring compliance with such safeguards, it is possible that we or certain other parties may discover or receive information at some point that certain employees, consultants, sales agents, or other business partners may have engaged in corrupt conduct for which we might be held responsible. Violations of the FCPA, the UK Bribery Act or other international anti-corruption laws may result in restatements of, or irregularities in, our financial statements as well as severe criminal or civil sanctions, and we may be subject to other liabilities, which could negatively affect our business, operating results and financial condition. In some cases, companies that violate the FCPA may be debarred by the United States government and/or lose their United States export privileges. Changes in anti-corruption laws or enforcement priorities could also result in increased compliance requirements and related costs which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, the United States or other governments may seek to hold us liable for successor liability FCPA violations or violations of other anti-corruption laws committed by companies in which we invest or that we acquired or will acquire.

We face risks related to sales to government entities.

We derive a portion of our revenue from sales to government entities in the United States. In general, our contracts with United States government entities are terminable at will by the government entity at any time. Government demand and payment for our services may be affected by public-sector budgetary cycles and funding authorizations, including government shutdowns. Government contracts are subject to oversight, including special rules on accounting, expenses, reviews and security. Failure to comply with these rules could result in civil and criminal penalties and sanctions, including termination of contracts, fines and suspensions, or debarment from future business with the United States government. As a result, failure to comply with these rules could have an adverse effect on our future business, reputation, operating results and financial condition.

If we are unable to successfully develop and market new services or enter new markets, our growth, results of operations or financial condition could be adversely affected.

A key element of our growth strategy is the successful development and marketing of new services or entering new markets that complement or expand our existing business. As we develop new services or enter new markets, including services targeted at participants in the broader healthcare industry, we may not have or adequately build the competencies necessary to perform such services satisfactorily, may not receive market acceptance for such services or may face increased competition. If we are unable to succeed in developing new services, entering new markets or attracting a client base for our new services or in new markets, we will be unable to implement this element of our growth strategy, and our future business, reputation, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.


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Our Research & Development Solutions business could subject us to potential liability that may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

Our Research & Development Solutions business involves the testing of new drugs on patients in clinical trials and, if marketing approval is granted, the availability of these drugs to be prescribed to patients. Our involvement in the clinical trials and development process creates a risk of liability for personal injury to or death of patients, particularly those with life-threatening illnesses, resulting from adverse reactions to the drugs administered during testing or after product launch, respectively. For example, we have from time to time been sued and may be sued in the future by individuals alleging personal injury due to their participation in clinical trials and seeking damages from us under a variety of legal theories. Although we maintain the types and amounts of insurance we view as customary in the industries and countries in which we operate, if we are required to pay damages or incur defense costs in connection with any personal injury claim that is outside the scope of indemnification agreements we have with our clients, if any indemnification agreement is not performed in accordance with its terms or if our liability exceeds the amount of any applicable indemnification limits or available insurance coverage, our financial condition, results of operations and reputation could be materially and adversely affected. We maintain professional liability insurance, including liability for completed operations coverage. In the future, we may not be able to get adequate insurance for these types of risks at reasonable rates.

We also contract with physicians to serve as investigators in conducting clinical trials. If the investigators commit errors or make omissions during a clinical trial that result in harm to clinical trial patients or after a clinical trial to a patient using the drug after it has received regulatory approval, claims for personal injury or liability damages may result. Additionally, if the investigators engage in fraudulent behavior, clinical trial data may be compromised, which may require us to repeat the clinical trial or subject us to liability. We do not believe we are legally responsible for the medical care rendered by such third-party investigators, and we would vigorously defend any claims brought against us. However, it is possible we could be found liable for claims with respect to the actions of third-party investigators, which may adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and reputation.

Some of our services involve direct interaction with clinical trial subjects or volunteers and subcontracting into a network of Phase I clinical facilities, which could create potential liability that may adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and reputation.

We subcontract into a network of facilities where Phase I clinical trials are conducted, which ordinarily involve testing an investigational drug on a limited number of healthy individuals, typically 20 to 80 persons, to determine such drug’s basic safety. Failure to operate such a facility in accordance with applicable regulations could result in that facility being shut down, which could disrupt our operations. Additionally, we face risks associated with adverse events resulting from the administration of such drugs to healthy volunteers and the professional malpractice of medical care providers. Any professional malpractice or negligence by such investigators, nurses or other subcontracted employees could potentially result in liability to us in the event of personal injury to or death of a healthy volunteer in clinical trials, and could also cause us reputational harm. This liability, particularly if it were to exceed the limits of any indemnification agreements and insurance coverage we may have, may adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and reputation.

Our Contract Sales & Medical Solutions business could result in liability to us if a drug causes harm to a patient. While we are generally indemnified and insured against such risks, we may still suffer financial losses.

When we market drugs under contract for a biopharmaceutical company, we could suffer liability for harm allegedly caused by those drugs, either as a result of a lawsuit against the biopharmaceutical company to which we are joined, a lawsuit naming us or any of our subsidiaries or an action launched by a regulatory body. While we are generally indemnified by the biopharmaceutical company for the action of the drugs we market on its behalf, and we carry insurance to cover harm caused by our negligence in performing services, it is possible that we could nonetheless incur financial losses, regulatory penalties or both. In particular, any claim could result in potential liability for us if the claim is outside the scope of the indemnification agreement we have with the biopharmaceutical company, the biopharmaceutical company does not abide by the indemnification agreement as required or the liability exceeds the amount of any applicable indemnification limits or available insurance coverage. Such a finding could have an adverse impact on our financial condition, results of operations and reputation. Furthermore, negative publicity associated with harm caused by drugs we helped to market could have an adverse effect on our business and reputation.


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Our insurance may not cover all of our indemnification obligations and other liabilities associated with our operations.

We maintain insurance designed to provide coverage for ordinary risks associated with our operations and our ordinary indemnification obligations. The coverage provided by such insurance may not be adequate for all claims we may make or may be contested by our insurance carriers. If our insurance is not adequate or available to pay liabilities associated with our operations, or if we are unable to purchase adequate insurance at reasonable rates in the future, our profitability may be adversely impacted.

If we are unable to attract suitable investigators and patients for our clinical trials, our clinical development business might suffer.

The timely recruitment of investigators and patients for clinical trials is essential to our Research & Development Solutions business. Investigators are typically located at hospitals, clinics or other sites and supervise the administration of the investigational drug to patients during the course of a clinical trial. Patients generally include people from the communities in which the clinical trials are conducted. Our clinical development business could be adversely affected if we are unable to attract suitable and willing investigators or patients for clinical trials on a consistent basis. For example, if we are unable to engage investigators to conduct clinical trials as planned or enroll sufficient patients in clinical trials, we might need to expend additional funds to obtain access to resources or else be compelled to delay or modify the clinical trial plans, which may result in additional costs to us.

If we lose the services of key personnel or experience sustained labor shortages and are unable to recruit additional qualified personnel, or we are required to substantially increase wage rates to attract or retain employees, our business could be adversely affected.

Our success substantially depends on the collective performance, contributions and expertise of our personnel including senior management and key personnel, qualified professional, scientific and technical operating staff and qualified sales representatives for our contract sales services. There is significant and increasing competition for qualified personnel, particularly those with higher educational degrees, such as a medical degree, a Ph.D. or an equivalent degree, or relevant experience in the industry, including highly technical specialties such as clinical research associates, project managers and technology developers, and in the locations in which we operate. This increase in competition and shortage of qualified personnel in certain specialty areas may make it more difficult to hire and retain our key employees and could result in substantial increased costs, such as increased wage rates to attract and retain employees. The departure of our key employees, or our inability to continue to identify, attract and retain qualified personnel or replace departed personnel in a timely fashion, may impact our ability to grow our business and compete effectively in our industry and may negatively affect our ability to meet financial and operational goals.

Disruptions in the credit and capital markets and unfavorable general economic conditions could negatively affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Disruptions in the credit and capital markets could have negative effects on our business that may be difficult to predict or anticipate, including the ability of our clients, vendors, contractors and financing sources to meet their contractual obligations. Although we are unable to quantify the impact it has had on us, we are aware of a limited number of instances in our Research & Development Solutions business during the past several years where cancellations, changes in scope and failure to pay timely were attributable, at least in part, to difficulty in our clients’ ability to obtain financing. In the future such actions by our clients could, if they involve a significant amount of business with us, have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

Our effective income tax rate may fluctuate for a variety of reasons, which may adversely affect our operations, earnings and earnings per share.

Our effective income tax rate is influenced by our projected profitability in the various taxing jurisdictions in which we operate. Changes in a jurisdiction’s income tax rates and the distribution of our profits and losses among such jurisdictions may have a significant impact on our effective income tax rate, which in turn could have an adverse effect on our net income and earnings per share. Other factors that may affect our effective income tax rate include, but are not limited to:

changes in the value of deferred tax assets and liabilities;

changes in tax laws in various jurisdictions;

audits by taxing authorities; and
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the establishment of valuation allowances against deferred income tax assets if we determined that it is more likely than not that future income tax benefits will not be realized.

In addition, our effective income tax rate is influenced by U.S. tax law which has been substantially modified by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in 2017 (“Tax Act”). In the course of our business, there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain which may require the use of estimates and significant judgement to account for their impact on the effective income tax rate in our consolidated financial statements. As the regulations and guidance evolve with respect to the Tax Act, our results may differ from previous estimates and may materially affect our consolidated financial statements.

All of these items described above may cause fluctuations in our effective income tax rate through increased U.S. tax liability and/or the loss of tax attributes in any given year that could adversely affect our results of operations and impact our earnings and earnings per share. Additional information regarding our income taxes is presented in Note 16 to our audited consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Changes in accounting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) or other standard-setting bodies may adversely affect our financial statements.

We are required to prepare our financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”), which is periodically revised and/or expanded. From time to time, we are required to adopt new or revised accounting standards issued by recognized authoritative bodies, including the FASB and the SEC. It is possible that future accounting standards we are required to adopt, such as amended guidance for income taxes, may require additional changes to the current accounting treatment that we apply to our financial statements and may require us to make significant changes to our reporting systems. Such changes could result in a material adverse impact on our results of operations and financial condition.

Our relationships with existing or potential clients who are in competition with each other may adversely impact the degree to which other clients or potential clients use our services, which may adversely affect our results of operations.

The biopharmaceutical industry is highly competitive, with biopharmaceutical companies each seeking to persuade payers, providers and patients that their drug therapies are better and more cost-effective than competing therapies marketed or being developed by competing firms. In addition to the adverse competitive interests that biopharmaceutical companies have with each other, biopharmaceutical companies also have adverse interests with respect to drug selection and reimbursement with other participants in the healthcare industry, including payers and providers. Biopharmaceutical companies also compete to be first to market with new drug therapies. We regularly provide services to biopharmaceutical companies who compete with each other, and we sometimes provide services or funding to such clients regarding competing drugs in development. Our existing or future relationships with our biopharmaceutical clients may therefore deter other biopharmaceutical clients from using our services or may result in our clients seeking to place limits on our ability to serve other biopharmaceutical industry participants in connection with drug development activities. In addition, our further expansion into the broader healthcare market may adversely impact our relationships with biopharmaceutical clients, and such clients may elect not to use our services, reduce the scope of services that we provide to them or seek to place restrictions on our ability to serve clients in the broader healthcare market with interests that are adverse to theirs. A loss of clients or reductions in the level of revenues from a client could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, business and prospects.


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If we are unable to successfully identify, acquire and integrate existing businesses, services and technologies, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely impacted.

We anticipate that a portion of our future growth may come from acquiring existing businesses, services or technologies. The success of any acquisition will depend upon, among other things, our ability to effectively integrate acquired personnel, operations, services and technologies into our business and to retain the key personnel and clients of our acquired businesses. In addition, we may be unable to identify suitable acquisition opportunities or obtain any necessary financing on commercially acceptable terms. We may also spend time and money investigating and negotiating with potential acquisition targets but not complete the transaction. Any future acquisition could involve other risks, including, among others, the assumption of additional liabilities and expenses, difficulties and expenses in connection with integrating the acquired companies and achieving the expected benefits, issuances of potentially dilutive securities or interest-bearing debt, loss of key employees of the acquired companies, transaction costs, diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns and, with respect to the acquisition of foreign companies, the inability to overcome differences in foreign business practices, language and customs. Our failure to identify potential acquisitions, complete targeted acquisitions and integrate completed acquisitions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our results of operations may be adversely affected if we fail to realize the full value of our goodwill and intangible assets.

We assess the realizability of our indefinite-lived intangible assets and goodwill annually and conduct an interim evaluation whenever events or changes in circumstances, such as operating losses or a significant decline in earnings associated with the acquired business or asset, indicate that these assets may be impaired. Our ability to realize the value of the goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets will depend on the future cash flows of the businesses we have acquired, which in turn could depend in part on how well we have integrated these businesses into our own business. If we are not able to realize the value of the goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets, we may be required to incur material charges relating to the impairment of those assets. Such impairment charges could materially and adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.

We face risks arising from the restructuring of our operations.

From time to time, we have adopted restructuring plans to improve our operating efficiency through various means such as reduction of overcapacity, elimination of non-billable support roles or other realignment of resources. Restructuring presents significant potential risks of events occurring that could adversely affect us, including:

actual or perceived disruption of service or reduction in service standards to clients;

the failure to preserve supplier relationships and distribution, sales and other important relationships and to resolve conflicts that may arise;

loss of sales as we reduce or eliminate staffing on non-core services;

diversion of management attention from ongoing business activities; and

the failure to maintain employee morale and retain key employees.

Further, any such restructuring would result in charges that, if material, could harm our results of operations and significantly reduce our cash position or increase debt. In addition, we may incur certain unforeseen costs once any restructuring activities are implemented. Further, if we determine to effect any restructuring, we can give no assurance that any projected cost reductions resulting from such restructuring activities will be achieved within the expected timeframe, or at all.

Because of these and other factors, we cannot predict whether we will realize the purpose and anticipated benefits of these measures and, if we do not, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected.

Additionally, there may be delays in implementing the restructuring activities or a failure to achieve the anticipated levels of cost savings and efficiency as a result of the restructuring activities, each of which could materially and adversely impact our business and results of operations. Further restructuring or reorganization activities may also be required in the future beyond what is currently planned, which could further enhance the risks associated with these activities.


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Risks Relating to Our Industry

The biopharmaceutical services industry is highly competitive.

The biopharmaceutical services industry is highly competitive. Our business often competes with other biopharmaceutical services companies, internal discovery departments, development departments, sales and marketing departments, information technology departments and other departments within our clients, some of which could be considered large biopharmaceutical services companies in their own right with greater resources than ours. We also compete with universities, teaching hospitals, governments agencies and others. If we do not compete successfully, our business will suffer. The biopharmaceutical services industry is highly fragmented, with numerous smaller specialized companies and a handful of companies with global capabilities similar to certain of our own capabilities. Increased competition has led to price and other forms of competition, such as acceptance of less favorable contract terms, that could adversely affect our operating results. There are few barriers to entry for companies considering offering any one or more of the services we offer. Because of their size and focus, these companies might compete effectively against us, which could have a material adverse impact on our business.

Our future growth and success will depend on our ability to successfully compete with other companies that provide similar services in the same markets, some of which may have financial, marketing, technical and other advantages. We also expect that competition will continue to increase as a result of consolidation among these various companies. Large technology companies with substantial resources, technical expertise and greater brand power could also decide to enter or further expand in the markets where our business operates and compete with us. If one or more of our competitors or potential competitors were to merge or partner with another of our competitors, or if a new entrant emerged with substantial resources, the change in the competitive landscape could adversely affect our ability to compete effectively. We compete on the basis of various factors, including breadth and depth of services, reputation, reliability, quality, geographic coverage, innovation, security, price and industry expertise and experience. In addition, our ability to compete successfully may be impacted by the growing availability of health information from social media, government health information systems and other free or low-cost sources. Consolidation or integration of wholesalers, retail pharmacies, health networks, payers or other healthcare stakeholders may lead any of them to provide information services directly to clients or indirectly through a designated service provider, resulting in increased competition from firms that may have lower costs to market (e.g., no data supply costs). Any of the above may result in lower demand for our services, which could result in a material adverse impact on our operating results and financial condition.

Outsourcing trends in the biopharmaceutical industry and changes in aggregate spending and research and development budgets could adversely affect our operating results and growth rate.

Economic factors and industry trends that affect biopharmaceutical companies affect our Research & Development Solutions business. Biopharmaceutical companies continue to seek long-term strategic collaborations with global clinical research organizations with favorable pricing terms. Competition for these collaborations is intense and we may decide to forego an opportunity or we may not be selected, in which case a competitor may enter into the collaboration and our business with the client, if any, may be limited. In addition, if the biopharmaceutical industry reduces its Research & Development Solutions activities or reduces its outsourcing of clinical trials and sales and marketing projects or such outsourcing fails to grow at projected rates, our operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected. We may also be negatively impacted by consolidation and other factors in the biopharmaceutical industry, which may slow decision making by our clients or result in the delay or cancellation of clinical trials. Our commercial services may be affected by reductions in new drug launches and increases in the number of drugs losing patent protection. All of these events could adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition.

Our business may be materially and adversely impacted by factors affecting the biopharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

The vast majority of our revenue is generated from sales to the biopharmaceutical and healthcare industries. The clients we serve in these industries are commonly subject to financial pressures, including, but not limited to, increased costs, reduced demand for their products, reductions in pricing and reimbursement for products and services, formulary approval and placement, government approval to market their products and limits on the manner by which they market their products, loss of patent exclusivity (whether due to patent expiration or as a result of a successful legal challenge) and the proliferation of or changes to regulations applicable to these industries. To the extent our clients face such pressures, or they change how they utilize our offerings, the demand for our services, or the prices our clients are willing to pay for those services, may decline. Any such decline could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.

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We may be affected by healthcare reform and potential additional reforms.

The United States Congress continues to consider healthcare reform legislation and impose health industry cost containment measures, which may significantly impact the biopharmaceutical industry. In addition, numerous government bodies are considering or have adopted various healthcare reforms and may undertake, or are in the process of undertaking, efforts to control growing healthcare costs through legislation, regulation and voluntary agreements with medical care providers and biopharmaceutical companies. We are uncertain as to the effects of these recent reforms on our business and are unable to predict what legislative proposals, if any, will be adopted in the future. If regulatory cost containment efforts limit the profitability of new drugs, our clients may reduce their research and development spending or promotional, marketing and sales expenditures, which could reduce the business they outsource to us. Similarly, if regulatory requirements are relaxed or simplified drug approval procedures are adopted, the demand for our services could decrease.

Foreign and domestic government bodies may also adopt healthcare legislation or regulations that are more burdensome than existing regulations. For example, product safety concerns and recommendations by the Drug Safety Oversight Board could change the regulatory environment for drug products, and new or heightened regulatory and licensing requirements may increase our expenses or limit or delay our ability to offer some of our services. Additionally, new or heightened regulatory requirements may have a negative impact on the ability of our clients to conduct industry-sponsored clinical trials, which could reduce the need for our services.

Actions by government regulators or clients to limit a prescription’s scope or withdraw an approved drug from the market could adversely affect our business and result in a loss of revenues.

Government regulators have the authority, after approving a drug, to regulate or limit its scope of prescription or withdraw it from the market completely based on safety concerns. Similarly, clients may act to voluntarily limit the scope of prescription of drugs or withdraw them from the market. In the past, we have provided services with respect to drugs that have been limited and/or withdrawn. If we are providing services to clients for drugs that are limited or withdrawn, we may be required to narrow the scope of or terminate our services with respect to such drugs, which would prevent earning the full amount of revenues anticipated under the related service contracts with negative impacts to our financial results.

If we do not keep pace with rapid technological changes, our services may become less competitive or obsolete.

The biopharmaceutical industry is subject to rapid technological changes. Our current competitors or other businesses might develop technologies or services that are more effective or commercially attractive than, or render obsolete, our current or future technologies and services. If our competitors introduce superior technologies or services, including in the provision of clinical services, and if we cannot make enhancements to remain competitive, our competitive position would be harmed. If we are unable to compete successfully, we may lose clients or be unable to attract new clients, which could lead to a decrease in our revenue and financial condition.

Laws restricting biopharmaceutical sales and marketing practices may adversely impact demand for our services.

There have been a significant number of laws, legislative initiatives and regulatory actions over the years that seek to limit biopharmaceutical sales and marketing practices. For example, three states in 2006 and 2007 passed laws restricting the use of prescriber identifiable information for the purpose of promoting branded prescription medicines. Although these laws were subsequently declared to be unconstitutional based on a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Sorrell v. IMS Health in 2011, we are unable to predict whether, and in what form, other initiatives may be introduced or actions taken at the state or Federal levels to limit biopharmaceutical sales and marketing practices. In addition, while we will continue to seek to adapt our services to comply with the requirements of these laws (to the extent applicable to our services), if enacted, there can be no assurance that our efforts to adapt our offerings will be successful and provide the same financial contribution to us. There can also be no assurance that future legislative initiatives will not adversely affect our ability to develop or market current or future offerings, or that any future laws will not diminish the demand for our services, all of which could, over time, result in a material adverse impact on our operating results and financial condition.


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Our Research & Development Solutions clients face intense competition from lower cost generic products, which may lower the amount that they spend on our services.

Our Research & Development Solutions clients face increasing competition from lower cost generic products, which in turn may affect their ability to pursue research and development activities with us. In the United States, EU and Japan, political pressure to reduce spending on prescription drugs has led to legislation and other measures which encourages the use of generic products. In addition, proposals emerge from time to time in the United States and other countries for legislation to further encourage the early and rapid approval of generic drugs. Loss of patent protection for a product typically is followed promptly by generic substitutes, reducing our clients’ sales of that product and their overall profitability. Availability of generic substitutes for our clients’ drugs may adversely affect their results of operations and cash flow, which in turn may mean that they would not have surplus capital to invest in research and development and drug commercialization, including in our services. If competition from generic products impacts our clients’ finances such that they decide to curtail our services, our revenues may decline and this could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Risks Relating to Our Indebtedness

Restrictions imposed in the senior secured credit facilities (as defined below) and other outstanding indebtedness, including the indentures governing outstanding notes issued by our wholly owned subsidiary IQVIA Inc., may limit our ability to operate our business and to finance our future operations or capital needs or to engage in other business activities.

The terms of the senior secured credit facilities restrict IQVIA and its restricted subsidiaries from engaging in specified types of transactions. These covenants restrict the ability of IQVIA and its restricted subsidiaries, among other things, to:

incur liens;

make investments and loans;

incur indebtedness or guarantees;

issue preferred stock of a restricted subsidiary;

issue disqualified equity;

engage in mergers, acquisitions and asset sales;

declare dividends, make payments or redeem or repurchase equity interests;

alter the business IQVIA and its restricted subsidiaries conduct;

make restricted payments;

enter into agreements limiting restricted subsidiary distributions;

prepay, redeem or purchase certain indebtedness; and

engage in certain transactions with affiliates.

In addition, the revolving credit facility and the term A and B loans under the Fifth Amended and Restated Credit Agreement (as defined below) require IQVIA to comply with a quarterly maximum senior secured net leverage ratio test and minimum interest coverage ratio test. IQVIA’s ability to comply with these financial covenants can be affected by events beyond our control, and IQVIA may not be able to satisfy them. Additionally, the restrictions contained in the indentures governing the outstanding notes could also limit our ability to plan for or react to market conditions, meet capital needs or make acquisitions or otherwise restrict our activities or business plans.

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A breach of any of these covenants could result in a default under the senior secured credit facilities or the indentures governing the outstanding notes, which could trigger acceleration of our indebtedness and may result in the acceleration of or default under any other debt to which a cross-acceleration or cross-default provision applies, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operations and financial results. In the event of any default under the senior secured credit facilities, the applicable lenders could elect to terminate borrowing commitments and declare all borrowings and loans outstanding, together with accrued and unpaid interest and any fees and other obligations, to be due and payable. In addition, or in the alternative, the applicable lenders could exercise their rights under the security documents entered into in connection with the senior secured credit facilities. IQVIA and the other subsidiary guarantors have pledged substantially all of their tangible and intangible assets (subject to customary exceptions) as collateral under the senior secured credit facilities, including the stock and the assets of certain of our current and future wholly owned United States subsidiaries and a portion of the stock of certain of our non-United States subsidiaries.

If we were unable to repay or otherwise refinance these borrowings and loans when due, the applicable lenders could proceed against the collateral granted to them to secure that indebtedness, which could force us into bankruptcy or liquidation. In the event the applicable lenders accelerate the repayment of our borrowings, we and our subsidiaries may not have sufficient assets to repay that indebtedness. Any acceleration of amounts due under the Fifth Amended and Restated Credit Agreement governing the senior secured credit facilities or the exercise by the applicable lenders of their rights under the security documents would likely have a material adverse effect on us.

Despite our level of indebtedness, we are able to incur more debt and undertake additional obligations. Incurring such debt or undertaking such additional obligations could further exacerbate the risks to our financial condition.

Although the Fifth Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, which governs the senior secured credit facilities of our wholly owned subsidiary through which we conduct our operations, IQVIA Inc., contains restrictions on the incurrence of additional indebtedness, these restrictions are subject to a number of qualifications and exceptions and the indebtedness incurred in compliance with these restrictions could increase. In addition, the receivables financing facility for one of our consolidated subsidiaries, a bankruptcy-remote special purpose entity (the “SPE”) limits borrowing based on the amount of receivables purchased by the SPE from certain of our other subsidiaries, but when supported by the value of such purchased receivables, the debt under our receivables financing facility can increase.

While the Fifth Amended and Restated Credit Agreement also contains restrictions on our and our restricted subsidiaries’ ability to make loans and investments, these restrictions are subject to a number of qualifications and exceptions, and the investments incurred in compliance with these restrictions could be substantial.

Restrictive covenants in our other indebtedness may limit our flexibility in our current and future operations, particularly our ability to respond to changes in our business or to pursue our business strategies.

The terms contained in certain of our indebtedness, including credit facilities and any future indebtedness of ours, may include a number of restrictive covenants that impose significant operating and financial restrictions, including restrictions on our and our restricted subsidiaries’ ability to take actions that we believe may be in our interest. These agreements, among other things, limit our ability to:

incur additional debt;

provide guarantees in respect of obligations of other persons;

issue redeemable stock and preferred stock;

pay dividends or distributions or redeem or repurchase capital stock;

prepay, redeem or repurchase debt;

make loans, investments and capital expenditures;

enter into transactions with affiliates;

create or incur liens;

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make distributions from our subsidiaries;

sell assets and capital stock of our subsidiaries;

make acquisitions; and

consolidate or merge with or into, or sell substantially all of our assets to, another person.

A breach of the covenants or restrictions under the agreements governing our other indebtedness could result in a default under the applicable indebtedness. Such default may allow the creditors to accelerate the related debt and may result in the acceleration of any other debt to which a cross-acceleration or cross-default provision applies. In the event our lenders and noteholders accelerate the repayment of our borrowings, we cannot assure that we and our subsidiaries would have sufficient assets to repay such indebtedness.

Our financial results, our substantial indebtedness and our credit ratings could adversely affect the availability and terms of future financing.

Interest rate fluctuations and our ability to deduct interest expense may affect our results of operations and financial condition.

Because we have variable rate debt, fluctuations in interest rates affect our business. We attempt to minimize interest rate risk and lower our overall borrowing costs through the utilization of derivative financial instruments, primarily swaps. We have entered into and will continue to enter into swaps with financial institutions that have reset dates and critical terms that match those of our senior secured term loan credit facility. Accordingly, any change in market value associated with the swaps may be offset by the opposite market impact on the related debt. Because we do not attempt to hedge all of our variable rate debt, we may incur higher interest costs for the portion of our variable rate debt which is not hedged.

In addition, the deduction for our interest expense may be limited, which could have an adverse impact on our taxes and net income.

We may be adversely affected by changes in the method of determining the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), or the replacement of LIBOR with an alternative reference rate, for our variable rate loans, derivative contracts and other financial assets and liabilities.

The interest rates under our credit facilities and related interest rate swaps may be impacted by the discontinuation of LIBOR for various currencies. LIBOR is used as a reference rate to calculate interest rates under our credit facilities. In 2017, the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced that it intends to phase out LIBOR. In March 2021, the ICE Benchmark Administration announced that it would cease to publish LIBOR for U.S. Dollar borrowings after June 30, 2023. The Alternative Reference Rates Committee convened by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has recommended the use of the Secured Overnight Funding Rate (“SOFR”) as a replacement benchmark index for borrowings of U.S. Dollars. Our credit facilities will need to be amended to give effect to SOFR as the benchmark rate with respect to our U.S. Dollar-denominated term B loans. Market terms are still developing for loans and other products linked to SOFR, EURIBOR and other benchmark replacements and there can be no assurance that rates linked to SOFR, EURIBOR and other benchmark replacements or related administrative terms will be as favorable to us as those rates and terms under our existing credit facilities, derivatives and other contracts.

Risks Relating to Ownership of Our Common Stock

Provisions of the corporate governance documents of IQVIA could make an acquisition of IQVIA difficult and may prevent attempts by its stockholders to replace or remove its management, even if beneficial to its stockholders.

Our certificate of incorporation and Delaware bylaws and the General Corporation Law of Delaware (the “DGCL”) contain provisions that could make it difficult for a third party to acquire IQVIA even if doing so might be beneficial to its stockholders, including:

the division of the board of directors into three classes and the election of each class for three-year terms;

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the sole ability of the board of directors to fill a vacancy created by the death or resignation of a director or the expansion of the board of directors;

advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals and director nominations;

limitations on the ability of stockholders to call special meetings and to take action by written consent;

the approval of holders of at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the outstanding shares of IQVIA entitled to vote on any amendment, alteration, change, addition or repeal of the Delaware bylaws is required to amend, alter, change, add to or repeal the Delaware bylaws;

the required approval of holders of at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the outstanding shares of IQVIA to remove directors, which removal may only be for cause; and

the ability of the board of directors to issue new series of, and designate the terms of, preferred stock, without stockholder approval, which could be used to, among other things, institute a rights plan that would have the effect of significantly diluting the stock ownership of a potential hostile acquirer, likely preventing acquisitions that have not been approved by the board of directors.

In addition, IQVIA is subject to Section 203 of the DGCL regulating corporate takeovers. Section 203, subject to certain exceptions, prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in any “business combination” with any “interested stockholder” for a period of three years following the date that such stockholder became an interested stockholder unless:

prior to such date, the board of directors of the corporation approved either the business combination or the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder;

upon consummation of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of the corporation outstanding at the time the transaction commenced, excluding those shares owned by persons who are directors and also officers, and employee stock plans in which employee participants do not have the right to determine confidentially whether shares held subject to the plan will be tendered in a tender or exchange offer; or

on or subsequent to such date, the business combination is approved by the board of directors and authorized at an annual or special meeting of stockholders, and not by written consent, by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the outstanding voting stock that is not owned by the interested stockholder.

In general, Section 203 defines “business combination” to include mergers or consolidations between a Delaware corporation and an interested stockholder, transactions with an interested stockholder involving the assets or stock of the corporation or its majority-owned subsidiaries and transactions which increase an interested stockholder’s percentage ownership of stock. In general, Section 203 defines an “interested stockholder” as any entity or person beneficially owning 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation and any entity or person affiliated with or controlling or controlled by such entity or person. These provisions may frustrate or prevent any attempts by stockholders to replace members of the board of directors. Because IQVIA’s board is responsible for appointing the members of management, these provisions could in turn affect any attempt to replace current members of management. As a result, stockholders of IQVIA may lose their ability to sell their stock for a price in excess of the prevailing market price due to these protective measures, and efforts by stockholders to change the direction or management of IQVIA may be unsuccessful.

Our operating results and share price may be volatile, which could cause the value of our stockholders’ investments to decline.

Our quarterly and annual operating results may fluctuate in the future, and such fluctuations may be significant. In addition, securities markets worldwide have experienced, and are likely to continue to experience, significant price and volume fluctuations. This market volatility, as well as general economic, market or political conditions, could subject the market price of our shares to wide price fluctuations regardless of our operating performance. Our operating results and the trading price of our shares may fluctuate in response to various factors, including:

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market conditions in the broader stock market;

actual or anticipated fluctuations in our quarterly and annual financial and operating results;

introduction of new services by us or our competitors;

issuance of new or changed securities analysts’ reports or recommendations;

sales, or anticipated sales, of large blocks of our stock;

additions or departures of key personnel;

regulatory or political developments;

litigation and governmental investigations;

changing economic conditions; and

exchange rate fluctuations.

These and other factors, many of which are beyond our control, may cause our operating results and the market price for our shares to fluctuate substantially. While we believe that operating results for any particular quarter are not necessarily a meaningful indication of future results, fluctuations in our quarterly operating results could limit or prevent investors from readily selling their shares and may otherwise negatively affect the market price and liquidity of our shares. In addition, in the past, when the market price of a stock has been volatile, holders of that stock have sometimes instituted securities class action litigation against the company that issued the stock. If any of our stockholders brought a lawsuit against us, we could incur substantial costs defending the lawsuit. Such a lawsuit could also divert the time and attention of our management from our business, which could significantly harm our profitability and reputation.

Since we have no current plans to pay regular cash dividends on our common stock, stockholders may not receive any return on investment unless they sell their common stock for a price greater than that which they paid for it.

Although we have previously declared dividends to our stockholders prior to our initial public offering in May 2013, we do not currently anticipate paying any regular cash dividends on our common stock. Any decision to declare and pay dividends in the future will be made at the discretion of our Board and will depend on, among other things, our results of operations, financial condition, cash requirements, contractual restrictions and other factors that our Board may deem relevant. In addition, our ability to pay dividends is, and may be, limited by covenants of existing and any future outstanding indebtedness we or our subsidiaries incur, including under our existing credit facilities. Therefore, any return on investment in our common stock is solely dependent upon the appreciation of the price of our common stock on the open market, which may not occur.

Our certificate of incorporation contains a provision renouncing any interest and expectancy in certain corporate opportunities identified by certain parties, even if such corporate opportunities are ones that we might reasonably be deemed to have pursued or had the ability or desire to pursue.

Our certificate of incorporation provides that IQVIA renounces any interest or expectancy in the business opportunities of the TPG Global, LLC, the Bain Capital, LLC, CPP Investment Board Private Holdings Inc., and Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., and their affiliates (other than our Company and our subsidiaries) and all of their respective partners, principals, directors, officers, members, managers, managing directors and/or employees, and each such person will have no obligation to offer us such opportunities. This provision applies to each of these current or former stockholders (and associated parties) only for so long as a nominee designated by such stockholder under the Shareholders Agreement continues to serve on our board of directors and no individual serving our board of directors has at any time been designated as a nominee by such stockholder under the Shareholders Agreement. Stockholders are deemed to have notice of and have consented to this provision of our certificate of incorporation.

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Therefore, a director or officer of our Company who also serves as a director, officer, member, manager, or employee of such stockholders may pursue certain business opportunities, including acquisitions, that may be complementary to its business and, as a result, such opportunities may not be available to us. These potential conflicts of interest could have a material adverse effect on the business, financial condition, results of operations, or prospects of our company if attractive corporate opportunities are allocated by such stockholders to themselves or their other affiliates instead of to us.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2. Properties

As of December 31, 2021, we had approximately 250 offices located in approximately 84 countries. Our executive headquarters are located adjacent to Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. We own facilities in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Caracas, Venezuela; Los Ruices, Venezuela; and Bangalore, India. All of our other offices are leased. Our properties are geographically distributed to meet our worldwide operating requirements, and none of our properties are individually material to our business operations. We believe that collectively our facilities are suitable and adequate for our present purposes. We continue to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on the suitability, adequacy, productive capacity and utilization of our existing principal physical properties, and we are in the process of evaluating the future state of our workforce practices, which may result in changes to our physical property needs.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

Information pertaining to legal proceedings can be found in Note 12 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and is incorporated by reference herein.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

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PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity

Securities Market Information for Common Stock

Our common stock trades on the NYSE under the symbol “IQV.”

Holders of Record

On February 7, 2022, we had approximately 20 stockholders of record as reported by our transfer agent. Holders of record are defined as those stockholders whose shares are registered in their names in our stock records and do not include beneficial owners of common stock whose shares are held in the names of brokers, dealers or clearing agencies.

Dividend Policy

We do not currently intend to pay dividends on our common stock, and no dividends were declared or paid in 2021 or 2020. However, we expect to reevaluate our dividend policy on a regular basis and may, subject to compliance with the covenants contained in our Senior Secured Credit Facilities and long-term debt arrangements and other considerations, determine to pay dividends in the future. The declaration, amount and payment of any future dividends on shares of our common stock will be at the sole discretion of our Board, which may take into account general and economic conditions, our financial condition and results of operations, our available cash and current and anticipated cash needs, capital requirements, contractual, legal, tax and regulatory restrictions, the implications of the payment of dividends by us to our stockholders or by our subsidiaries to us, and any other factors that our Board may deem relevant. Our long-term debt arrangements contain usual and customary restrictive covenants that, among other things, place limitations on our ability to declare dividends. For additional information regarding these restrictive covenants, see Part II, Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources” and Note 10 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

We did not sell any unregistered equity securities in 2021.

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer

On October 30, 2013, the Board approved an equity repurchase program (the “Repurchase Program”) authorizing the repurchase of up to $125.0 million of either our common stock or vested in-the-money employee stock options, or a combination thereof. The Board increased the stock repurchase authorization under the Repurchase Program with respect to the repurchase of the Company's common stock by $600 million, $1.5 billion, $2.0 billion, $1.5 billion, and $2.0 billion, in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively. On February 10, 2022, the Board increased the stock repurchase authorization under the Repurchase Program with respect to the repurchase of the Company's common stock by an additional $2.0 billion, which increased the total amount that has been authorized under the Repurchase Program to $9.725 billion. The Repurchase Program does not obligate us to repurchase any particular amount of common stock or vested in-the-money employee stock options, and it may be modified, extended, suspended or discontinued at any time. The timing and amount of repurchases are determined by our management based on a variety of factors such as the market price of our common stock, our corporate requirements, and overall market conditions. Purchases of our common stock may be made in open market transactions effected through a broker-dealer at prevailing market prices, in block trades, or in privately negotiated transactions. The Repurchase Program for common stock does not have an expiration date. In addition, from time to time, we have repurchased and may continue to repurchase common stock through private or other transactions outside of the Repurchase Program.

From inception of the Repurchase Program through December 31, 2021, we have repurchased a total of $6.8 billion of our securities under the Repurchase Program.

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During the year ended December 31, 2021, we repurchased 1.7 million shares of our common stock for approximately $395 million under the Repurchase Program. For additional information regarding our equity repurchases, see Part II, Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources” and Note 13 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

As of December 31, 2021, we had remaining authorization to repurchase up to approximately $0.5 billion of our common stock under the Repurchase Program. The February 10, 2022 $2.0 billion increase in the stock repurchase authorization, increased the remaining authorization to repurchase common stock under the Repurchase Program up to approximately $2.5 billion.

Since the Merger between Quintiles and IMS health, we have repurchased 67.4 million shares of our common stock at an average market price per share of $100.95 for an aggregate purchase price of $6.8 billion both under and outside of the Repurchase Program. This includes shares withheld from employees to satisfy certain tax obligations due in connection with grants of stock under the Quintiles IMS Holdings, Inc. 2017 Incentive and Stock Award Plan (the “Plan”). The Plan provides for the withholding of shares to satisfy tax obligations. It does not specify a maximum number of shares that can be withheld for this purpose. The shares of common stock withheld to satisfy tax withholding obligations may be deemed to be “issuer purchases” of shares that are required to be disclosed pursuant to this Item.

The following table summarizes the monthly equity repurchase activity for the three months ended December 31, 2021 and the approximate dollar value of shares that may yet be purchased pursuant to the Repurchase Program.
PeriodTotal Number of Shares PurchasedAverage Price Paid per ShareTotal Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced
Plans or Programs
Approximate Dollar Value of Shares That May Yet Be Purchased Under the
Plans or Programs
(in millions, except per share data)
October 1, 2021 – October 31, 20210.1$238.82 0.1$667 
November 1, 2021 – November 30, 20210.4$254.38 0.4$568 
December 1, 2021 – December 31, 20210.2$265.16 0.2$523 
0.70.7

Stock Performance Graph

This performance graph shall not be deemed “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act or incorporated by reference into any filing of IQVIA Holdings Inc. under the Exchange Act or under the Securities Act, except as shall be expressly set forth by specific reference in such filing.

The following graph shows a comparison from December 31, 2016 through December 31, 2021 of the cumulative total return for our common stock, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index (“S&P 500”), our new peer group set forth below ("New Peer Group") and our old peer group set forth below ("Old Peer Group"). The New Peer Group consists of Cerner Corporation, Charles River Laboratories, Inc., Equifax Inc., ICON plc, IHS Markit Ltd., Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, Nielsen N.V., Syneos Health (formerly INC Research Holdings), Thomson Reuters Corporation and Verisk Analytics, Inc. The difference between the New Peer Group and the Old Peer Group is that PRA Health Sciences, Inc. has been removed from the New Peer Group as it became part of ICON plc during the year ended December 31, 2021. The companies in our peer group are publicly traded information services, information technology or clinical research companies, and thus share similar business model characteristics to IQVIA, or provide services to similar customers as IQVIA. Many of these companies are also used by our compensation committee for purposes of compensation benchmarking.

The graph assumes that $100 was invested in IQVIA, the S&P 500, the New Peer Group and the Old Peer Group as of the close of market on December 31, 2016, assumes the reinvestments of dividends, if any. The S&P 500 and our New and Old Peer Groups are included for comparative purposes only. They do not necessarily reflect management’s opinion that the S&P 500 and our peer groups are an appropriate measure of the relative performance of the stock involved, and they are not intended to forecast or be indicative of possible future performance of our common stock.

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iqv-20211231_g2.jpg


12/31/201612/31/201712/31/201812/31/201912/31/202012/31/2021
IQVIA
$100 $129 $153 $203 $236 $371 
S&P 500
$100 $122 $116 $153 $181 $233 
New Peer Group$100 $115 $109 $155 $190 $266 
Old Peer Group$100 $116 $111 $156 $191 $266 

Item 6. [Reserved]

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis or set forth elsewhere in this Annual Report, including information with respect to our plans and strategy for our business, includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. You should read the “Risk Factors” section of this Annual Report for a discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results described in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in the following discussion and analysis.


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Overview

IQVIA is a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions, and clinical research services to the life sciences industry. IQVIA creates intelligent connections across all aspects of healthcare through its analytics, transformative technology, big data resources and extensive domain expertise. IQVIA Connected Intelligence™ delivers powerful insights with speed and agility — enabling customers to accelerate the clinical development and commercialization of innovative medical treatments that improve healthcare outcomes for patients. With approximately 79,000 employees, we conduct operations in more than 100 countries.

We are a global leader in protecting individual patient privacy. We use a wide variety of privacy-enhancing technologies and safeguards to protect individual privacy while generating and analyzing information on a scale that helps healthcare stakeholders identify disease patterns and correlate with the precise treatment path and therapy needed for better outcomes. Our insights and execution capabilities help biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, medical researchers, government agencies, payers and other healthcare stakeholders tap into a deeper understanding of diseases, human behaviors and scientific advances, in an effort to advance their path toward cures.

We are managed through three reportable segments, Technology & Analytics Solutions, Research & Development Solutions and Contract Sales & Medical Solutions. Technology & Analytics Solutions provides critical information, technology solutions and real world insights and services to our life science clients. Research & Development Solutions, which primarily serves biopharmaceutical clients, is engaged in research and development and provides clinical research and clinical trial services. Contract Sales & Medical Solutions provides contract sales to both biopharmaceutical clients and the broader healthcare market.

For a description of our service offerings within our segments, refer to Part I, Item 1, “Business”.

Industry Outlook

For information about the industry outlook and markets that we operate in, refer to Part I, Item I, “Our Market Opportunity”.

Overview of the Impact of COVID-19

During 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the pace of our clinical trials and offerings that rely on face-to-face interactions, but, at the same time, it accelerated change in the industry and created demand for new services. The pandemic resulted in the delay but not cancellation of a number of existing and planned clinical trials, both because many clinical trials were slowed or temporarily paused and because many planned clinical trials did not begin as scheduled as they were crowded out by clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines and other therapies. During 2021, we experienced an acceleration in business momentum as these delayed clinical trial activities began or restarted, which contributed to our financial results for the year.

Throughout the past year and into 2022, we have worked on a substantial number of COVID-related projects. COVID-specific work currently does not represent a material amount of our backlog and is executed over shorter timelines than other therapeutic work, though we do anticipate that this work will continue through 2022 and potentially into 2023 and beyond. There will be a need for vaccines for multiple manufacturers to meet global demand, new vaccines for emerging variants of the virus, alternative vaccines needed as a result of adverse safety events, quality issues, or manufacturing delays, novel treatment programs that are targeted at specific populations and conditions, and vaccine safety monitoring studies.

The pandemic has also affected our business strategy in a number of ways. One of the most significant impacts on our Research & Development Solutions business, has been the acceleration of decentralized clinical trials. Decentralized clinical trials combine the use of remote technologies and field-based services to enable portions of a clinical trial to be conducted away from an investigator site. This approach reduces the burden on patients of having to travel to and from investigator sites frequently and allows trials to continue to be conducted even during periods of limited access to investigator sites. While the decentralized clinical trial opportunity was identified before COVID-19, we saw how critical those capabilities were during the pandemic and accelerated their development accordingly. We invested in the use of remote technologies, expanded our relationships with local laboratories and healthcare providers, and established a virtual network of investigators and care professionals.

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We also took the opportunity presented by the pandemic to completely rethink and revolutionize our workplace and in 2021 we implemented the IQVIA Future of Work program. This program was designed to address employee feedback for more flexibility, and it will facilitate approximately 80% of our employees working in flexible arrangements, reducing our physical footprint and the employee commute impact on the environment. To facilitate this transition, we made investments in real estate to reconfigure our office space to install the most efficient work arrangements and in technology to support our employees and ensure that we can innovate, collaborate and grow successfully.

The Company continues to maintain strong liquidity. As of December 31, 2021, cash and cash equivalents were $1,366 million and the Company had $100 million drawn under its $1.5 billion revolving credit facility. As of December 31, 2021, the Company was in compliance with the financial covenants under its debt agreements in all material respects and does not have material uncertainty about ongoing ability to meet the covenants of our credit arrangements.

Business Combinations

We have completed and will continue to consider strategic business combinations to enhance our capabilities and offerings in certain areas, including various individually immaterial acquisitions during the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020. These transactions were accounted for as business combinations and the acquired results of operations are included in our consolidated financial information since the acquisition date. See Note 14 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information with respect to these business combinations.

Sources of Revenue

Total revenues are comprised of revenues from the provision of our services. We do not have any material product revenues.

Costs and Expenses

Our costs and expenses are comprised primarily of our costs of revenue, reimbursed expenses and selling, general and administrative expenses. Costs of revenue include compensation and benefits for billable employees and personnel involved in production, trial monitoring, data management and delivery, and the costs of acquiring and processing data for our information offerings; costs of staff directly involved with delivering technology-related services offerings and engagements, related accommodations and the costs of data purchased specifically for technology services engagements; and other expenses directly related to service contracts such as courier fees, laboratory supplies, professional services and travel expenses. As noted above, reimbursed expenses are comprised principally of payments to investigators who oversee clinical trials and travel expenses for our clinical monitors and sales representatives. Selling, general and administrative expenses include costs related to sales, marketing, and administrative functions (including human resources, legal, finance, quality assurance, compliance and general management) for compensation and benefits, travel, professional services, training and expenses for information technology, facilities and depreciation and amortization.

Foreign Currency Translation

In 2021, approximately 35% of our revenues were denominated in currencies other than the United States dollar, which represents approximately 60 currencies. Because a large portion of our revenues and expenses are denominated in foreign currencies and our financial statements are reported in United States dollars, changes in foreign currency exchange rates can significantly affect our results of operations. The revenue and expenses of our foreign operations are generally denominated in local currencies and translated into United States dollars for financial reporting purposes. Accordingly, exchange rate fluctuations will affect the translation of foreign results into United States dollars for purposes of reporting our consolidated results. As a result, we believe that reporting results of operations that exclude the effects of foreign currency rate fluctuations on certain financial results can facilitate analysis of period to period comparisons. This constant currency information assumes the same foreign currency exchange rates that were in effect for the comparable prior-year period were used in translation of the current period results
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Consolidated Results of Operations

For information regarding our results of operations for Technology & Analytics Solutions, Research & Development Solutions and Contract Sales & Medical Solutions, refer to “Segment Results of Operations” later in this section.

For a discussion of our results of operations comparison for 2020 and 2019, refer to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 filed on February 12, 2021.

Revenues
Year Ended December 31,Change
2021 vs. 20202020 vs. 2019
(dollars in millions)202120202019$%$%
Revenues$13,874 $11,359 $11,088 $2,515 22.1 %$271 2.4 %

2021 compared to 2020

In 2021, our revenues increased $2,515 million, or 22.1%, as compared to 2020. This increase was comprised of constant currency revenue growth of approximately $2,398 million, or 21.1%, reflecting a $604 million increase in Technology & Analytics Solutions, a $1,752 million increase in Research & Development Solutions, and a $42 million increase in Contract Sales & Medical Solutions.

Costs of Revenue, exclusive of Depreciation and Amortization
Year Ended December 31,
(dollars in millions)202120202019
Costs of revenue, exclusive of depreciation and amortization$9,233 $7,500 $7,300 
% of revenues66.5 %66.0 %65.8 %

2021 compared to 2020

When compared to 2020, costs of revenue, exclusive of depreciation and amortization, in 2021 increased $1,733 million, or 23.1%. This increase included a constant currency increase of approximately $1,606 million, or 21.4%, comprised of a $314 million increase in Technology & Analytics Solutions, a $1,267 million increase in Research & Development Solutions, and a $25 million increase in Contract Sales & Medical Solutions.

As a percent of revenues, costs of revenue, exclusive of depreciation and amortization in 2021 increased compared to 2020.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses
Year Ended December 31,
(dollars in millions)202120202019
Selling, general and administrative expenses$1,964 $1,789 $1,734 
% of revenues14.2 %15.7 %15.6 %

2021 compared to 2020

The $175 million increase in selling, general and administrative expenses in 2021 as compared to 2020 included a constant currency increase of approximately $151 million, or 8.4%, comprised of a $42 million increase in Technology & Analytics Solutions, a $32 million increase in Research & Development Solutions, a $(1) million decrease in Contract Sales & Medical Solutions, and a $78 million increase in general corporate and unallocated expenses.

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Depreciation and Amortization
Year Ended December 31,
(dollars in millions)202120202019
Depreciation and amortization$1,264 $1,287 $1,202 
% of revenues9.1 %11.3 %10.8 %

The $(23) million decrease in depreciation and amortization in 2021 as compared to 2020 was primarily due to certain intangible assets from the merger between Quintiles and IMS Health becoming fully amortized in 2021, offset by higher intangible asset balances as a result of acquisitions occurring in 2020 and 2021, increased amortization due to higher capitalized software balances, and accelerated amortization related to intangibles impacted by the Company's acquisition of Quest's non-controlling interest in Q2 Solutions.

Restructuring Costs
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Restructuring costs$20 $52 $75 

The restructuring costs incurred were due to ongoing efforts to streamline our global operations. The remaining actions under these plans are expected to occur throughout 2022 and are expected to consist of consolidating functional activities, eliminating redundant positions, and aligning resources with customer requirements.

Interest Income and Interest Expense
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Interest income$(6)$(6)$(9)
Interest expense$375 $416 $447 
Interest income included interest received primarily from bank balances and investments.

Interest expense during 2021 was lower than 2020 due to lower interest rates attributed to lower LIBOR rates, the refinancing of our existing term A loans and the redemption of our 3.250% senior notes due 2025, which was offset by the interest expense on the issuance of our 1.750% senior notes due 2026 and 2.250% senior notes due 2029. See Note 10 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more information on these transactions.

Loss on Extinguishment of Debt
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Loss on extinguishment of debt$26 $13 $24 

During 2021, we recognized loss on extinguishment of debt of $26 million for fees and expenses incurred related to the refinancing of our 3.250% senior notes due 2025 and Prior Credit Agreement as discussed further in Note 10 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

During 2020, we recognized loss on extinguishment of debt of $13 million for fees and expenses incurred related to the refinancing of our 3.500% senior notes due 2024 as discussed further in Note 10 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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Other Income, Net
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Other income, net$(130)$(65)$(37)

Other income, net for 2021 increased compared to 2020 primarily due to foreign currency gain.

Income Tax Expense
Year Ended December 31,
(dollars in millions)202120202019
Income tax expense $163 $72 $116 
Effective income tax rate14.5 %19.3 %33.0 %

In 2021, we recorded a benefit of $29 million related to a 2020 U.S. Federal tax return position associated with Foreign Derived Intangible Income (“FDII”) and Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (“GILTI”) tax credits. Also in 2021, we recorded a $9 million tax expense as a result of the U.S. Treasury Department issuing final regulations on Foreign Tax Credits.    

In 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department issued final regulations regarding FDII and GILTI. We have determined we will elect the GILTI high tax exception as allowed by the final regulations and have amended our 2018 U.S. Federal consolidated income tax returns and plan to amend our 2019 US Federal consolidated income tax returns resulting in a favorable impact of $26 million, which we recorded in 2020.

In 2019 the U.S. Treasury Department issued final regulations on the transition tax and proposed regulations on FDII, which was introduced by the Tax Act enacted by the U.S. government on December 22, 2017. The Tax Act is comprehensive legislation that includes provisions that lower the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% beginning in 2018 and imposes a one-time transition tax on undistributed foreign earnings. The final regulations related to the transition tax did not have a material impact. As a result of the proposed FDII guidance, which was subsequently finalized in 2020, we reversed the tax benefit originally recorded in 2018 by recording a tax expense of $25 million for this impact in 2019.

Equity in Earnings (Losses) of Unconsolidated Affiliates
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Equity in earnings (losses) of unconsolidated affiliates$$$(9)

Equity in earnings (losses) of unconsolidated affiliates remained relatively consistent in 2021 compared to 2020.

Net Income Attributable to Non-controlling Interests
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Net income attributable to non-controlling interests$(5)$(29)$(36)

Net income attributable to non-controlling interests included Quest’s interest in Q2 Solutions. On April 1, 2021 the Company acquired the 40% non-controlling interest in Q2 Solutions from Quest which resulted in a decrease in the net income attributable to non-controlling interests in 2021 compared to 2020. See Note 13 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional details regarding this transaction.

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Segment Results of Operations

Revenues and profit by segment are as follows:
Segment RevenuesSegment Profit
(in millions)202120202019202120202019
Technology & Analytics Solutions$5,534 $4,858 $4,486 $1,458 $1,216 $1,101 
Research & Development Solutions7,556 5,760 5,788 1,476 1,048 1,141 
Contract Sales & Medical Solutions784 741 814 75 57 52 
Total13,874 11,359 11,088 3,009 2,321 2,294 
General corporate and unallocated(332)(251)(240)
Depreciation and amortization(1,264)(1,287)(1,202)
Restructuring costs(20)(52)(75)
Consolidated$13,874 $11,359 $11,088 $1,393 $731 $777 

Certain costs are not allocated to our segments and are reported as general corporate and unallocated expenses. These costs primarily consist of stock-based compensation and expenses related to integration activities and acquisitions. We also do not allocate depreciation and amortization or impairment charges to our segments.

Technology & Analytics Solutions
Year Ended December 31,Change
(dollars in millions)2021202020192021 vs. 20202020 vs. 2019
Revenues$5,534 $4,858 $4,486 $676 13.9 %$372 8.3 %
Costs of revenue, exclusive of depreciation and amortization 3,278 2,9002,66337813.02378.9
Selling, general and administrative expenses798 742722567.5202.8
Segment profit$1,458 $1,216 $1,101 $242 19.9 %$115 10.4 %

Revenues

2021 compared to 2020

Technology & Analytics Solutions’ revenues were $5,534 million in 2021, an increase of $676 million, or 13.9%, over 2020. This increase was comprised of constant currency revenue growth of approximately $604 million, or 12.4%, reflecting revenue growth across all regions. The revenue growth was driven by higher technology, real-world and analytical services and COVID-19 related work.

Costs of Revenue, exclusive of Depreciation and Amortization

2021 compared to 2020

Technology & Analytics Solutions’ costs of revenue, exclusive of depreciation and amortization, were $3,278 million in 2021, an increase of $378 million over 2020. This increase was comprised of constant currency increase of approximately $314 million, or 10.8%, reflecting an increase in compensation and related expenses to support revenue growth.

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Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

2021 compared to 2020

Technology & Analytics Solutions’ selling, general and administrative expenses increased $56 million in 2021 as compared to 2020. This increase was comprised of a constant currency increase of approximately $42 million, or 5.7%, reflecting an increase in compensation and related expenses.

Research & Development Solutions
Year Ended December 31,Change
(dollars in millions)2021202020192021 vs. 20202020 vs. 2019
Revenues$7,556 $5,760 $5,788 $1,796 31.2 %$(28)(0.5)%
Costs of revenue, exclusive of depreciation and amortization5,303 3,9743,9361,32933.4381.0
Selling, general and administrative expenses777 738711395.3273.8
Segment profit$1,476 $1,048 $1,141 $428 40.8 %$(93)(8.2)%

Backlog

Research & Development Solutions contracted backlog increased from $22.6 billion as of December 31, 2020 to $24.8 billion as of December 31, 2021 and we expect approximately $7.0 billion of this backlog to convert to revenue in the next 12 months. Contracted backlog was $19.0 billion as of December 31, 2019.

Backlog represents, at a particular point in time, future revenues from work not yet completed or performed under signed contracts. Once work begins on a project, revenues are recognized over the duration of the project.

We believe that backlog is an indicator of future revenues but the timing of revenue will be affected by a number of factors, including the variable size and duration of projects, many of which are performed over several years, cancellations, and changes to the scope of work during the course of projects. Projects that have been delayed remain in backlog, but the timing of the revenue generated may differ from the timing originally expected. Additionally, projects may be terminated or delayed by the customer or delayed by regulatory authorities. In the event that a client cancels a contract, we typically would be entitled to receive payment for all services performed up to the cancellation date and subsequent client-authorized services related to winding down the canceled project. For more details regarding risks related to our backlog, see Part I, Item IA, “Risk Factors—Risks Related to our Business—The relationship of backlog to revenues varies over time.”

Revenues

2021 compared to 2020

Research & Development Solutions’ revenues were $7,556 million in 2021, an increase of $1,796 million, or 31.2%, over 2020. This increase was comprised of constant currency revenue growth of approximately $1,752 million, or 30.4%, reflecting revenue growth across all regions. The revenue growth was primarily the result of volume-related increases in clinical services and lab testing, including incremental revenue from large COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.

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Costs of Revenue, exclusive of Depreciation and Amortization

2021 compared to 2020

Research & Development Solutions’ costs of revenue, exclusive of depreciation and amortization, increased $1,329 million, or 33.4%, in 2021 as compared to 2020. This increase included a constant currency increase of approximately $1,267 million, or 31.9%, reflecting an increase in compensation and related expenses as a result of volume-related increases in clinical services and lab testing.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

2021 compared to 2020

Research & Development Solutions’ selling, general and administrative expenses increased $39 million, or 5.3%, in 2021 as compared to 2020, which included a constant currency increase of approximately $32 million, or 4.3%, reflecting an increase in compensation and related expenses.

Contract Sales & Medical Solutions
Year Ended December 31,Change
(dollars in millions)2021202020192021 vs. 20202020 vs. 2019
Revenues$784 $741 $814 $43 5.8 %$(73)(9.0)%
Costs of revenue, exclusive of depreciation and amortization652 626 701 26 4.2(75)(10.7)
Selling, general and administrative expenses57 58 61 (1)(1.7)(3)(4.9)
Segment profit$75 $57 $52 $18 31.6 %$9.6 %

Revenues

2021 compared to 2020

Contract Sales & Medical Solutions’ revenues were $784 million in 2021, an increase of $43 million, or 5.8%, over 2020. This increase was comprised of a constant currency revenue growth of approximately $42 million, or 5.7%, reflecting a volume increase primarily in the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions.

Costs of Revenue, exclusive of Depreciation and Amortization

2021 compared to 2020

Contract Sales & Medical Solutions’ costs of revenue, exclusive of depreciation and amortization, increased $26 million, or 4.2%, in 2021 as compared to 2020. This increase included a constant currency increase of approximately $25 million, or 4.0%, reflecting an increase in compensation and related expenses.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

2021 compared to 2020

Contract Sales & Medical Solutions’ selling, general and administrative expenses decreased $(1) million, or (1.7)%, in 2021 as compared to 2020. This decrease included a constant currency decrease of approximately $(1) million, or (1.7)%, reflecting a decrease in compensation and related expenses.

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Liquidity and Capital Resources

Overview

We assess our liquidity in terms of our ability to generate cash to fund our operating, investing and financing activities. Our principal source of liquidity is operating cash flows. In addition to operating cash flows, other significant factors that affect our overall management of liquidity include: capital expenditures, acquisitions, investments, debt service requirements, equity repurchases, adequacy of our revolving credit and receivables financing facilities, and access to the capital markets.

We manage our worldwide cash requirements by monitoring the funds available among our subsidiaries and determining the extent to which those funds can be accessed on a cost-effective basis. The repatriation of cash balances from certain of our subsidiaries could have adverse tax consequences; however, those balances are generally available without legal restrictions to fund ordinary business operations. We have and expect to transfer cash from those subsidiaries to the United States and to other international subsidiaries when it is cost effective to do so.

We had a cash balance of $1,366 million as of December 31, 2021 ($385 million of which was in the United States), a decrease from $1,814 million as of December 31, 2020.

Based on our current operating plan, we believe that our available cash and cash equivalents, future cash flows from operations and our ability to access funds under our revolving credit and receivables financing facilities will enable us to fund our operating requirements, capital expenditures, contractual obligations, and meet debt obligations for at least the next 12 months. We regularly evaluate our debt arrangements, as well as market conditions, and from time to time we may explore opportunities to modify our existing debt arrangements or pursue additional financing arrangements that could result in the issuance of new debt securities by us or our affiliates. We may use our existing cash, cash generated from operations or dispositions of assets or businesses and/or proceeds from any new financing arrangements or issuances of debt or equity securities to repay or reduce some of our outstanding obligations, to repurchase shares from our stockholders or for other purposes. As part of our ongoing business strategy, we also continually evaluate new acquisition, expansion and investment possibilities or other strategic growth opportunities, as well as potential dispositions of assets or businesses, as appropriate, including dispositions that may cause us to recognize a loss on certain assets. Should we elect to pursue any such transaction, we may seek to obtain debt or equity financing to facilitate those activities. Our ability to enter into any such potential transactions and our use of cash or proceeds is limited to varying degrees by the terms and restrictions contained in our existing debt arrangements. We cannot provide assurances that we will be able to complete any such financing arrangements or other transactions on favorable terms or at all.

Equity Repurchase Program

On February 10, 2022 the Board increased the stock repurchase authorization under the Repurchase Program with respect to the repurchase of the Company's common stock by an additional $2.0 billion, which increased the total amount that has been authorized under the Repurchase Program to $9.725 billion since the plan’s inception in October 2013. The Repurchase Program does not obligate the Company to repurchase any particular amount of common stock, and it may be modified, extended, suspended or discontinued at any time.

As of December 31, 2021, the Company had remaining authorization to repurchase up to approximately $0.5 billion of its common stock under the Repurchase Program. The February 10, 2022 $2.0 billion increase in the stock repurchase authorization, increased the remaining authorization to repurchase common stock under the Repurchase Program up to approximately $2.5 billion. In addition, from time to time, the Company has repurchased and may continue to repurchase common stock through private or other transactions outside of the Repurchase Program.

Additional information regarding the Repurchase Program is presented in Part II, Item 5 “Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities” and Note 13 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Debt

As of December 31, 2021, we had $12.2 billion of total indebtedness, excluding $1.4 billion of available borrowings under our revolving credit facilities. See Note 10 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional details regarding our credit arrangements.
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Our long-term debt arrangements contain customary restrictive covenants and, as of December 31, 2021, we believe we were in compliance with our restrictive covenants in all material respects.

Senior Secured Credit Facilities

As of December 31, 2021, the Fifth Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, as amended (the “Fifth Amended and Restated Credit Agreement”) provided financing through several senior secured credit facilities (collectively, the “senior secured credit facilities”) of up to approximately $7,140 million, which consisted of $5,740 million principal amounts of debt outstanding and $1,400 million of available borrowing capacity on the revolving credit facility and standby letters of credit, with a total capacity of $1,500 million. The revolving credit facility is comprised of a $675 million senior secured revolving facility available in U.S. dollars, a $600 million senior secured revolving facility available in U.S. dollars, Euros, Swiss Francs and other foreign currencies, and a $225 million senior secured revolving facility available in U.S. dollars and Yen. The term A loans and revolving credit facility under the Fifth Amended and Restated Credit Agreement mature in August 2026, while the term B loans under the Fifth Amended and Restated Credit Agreement mature in 2024 and 2025. We are required to make scheduled quarterly payments on the term A loans equal to 1.25% of the original principal amount, with the remaining balance paid at maturity. In addition, beginning with fiscal year ending December 31, 2017, we were required to apply 50% of excess cash flow (as defined in the Fifth Amended and Restated Credit Agreement), subject to a reduction to 25% or 0% depending upon our senior secured first lien net leverage ratio, for prepayment of the term loans, with any such prepayment to be applied toward principal payments due in subsequent quarters. We are also required to pay an annual commitment fee that ranges from 0.20% to 0.35% in respect of any unused commitments under the revolving credit facility. The senior secured credit facilities are collateralized by substantially all of our assets and the assets of our material domestic subsidiaries including 100% of the equity interests of substantially all of our material domestic subsidiaries and 66% of the equity interests of substantially all of our first-tier material foreign subsidiaries and their domestic subsidiaries.

For information regarding the senior secured credit facilities, see Note 10 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Receivables Financing Facility

For information regarding receivables financing facility, see Note 10 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. As of December 31, 2021, no additional amounts of revolving loans were available under the receivables financing facility.

Years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019

Cash Flow from Operating Activities
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Net cash provided by operating activities$2,942 $1,959 $1,417 

2021 compared to 2020

Cash provided by operating activities increased $983 million in 2021 as compared to 2020. The increase is primarily due to an increase in cash-related net income ($762 million), an increase in advanced billings ($411 million), a decrease in prepaid expenses and other assets ($131 million) and the timing of income tax and other payables ($81 million), offset by a decrease in accounts receivable and unbilled services ($393 million) and the timing of accounts payable and accrued expenses ($9 million).

Cash Flow from Investing Activities
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Net cash used in investing activities$(2,103)$(796)$(1,190)


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2021 compared to 2020

Cash used in investing activities increased $1,307 million in 2021 as compared to 2020. The increase was primarily driven by more cash used for the acquisition of businesses, net of cash acquired ($1,281 million), acquisitions of property, equipment, and software ($24 million), lower net payments received from unconsolidated affiliates ($15 million) and an increase in purchase of marketable securities ($1 million), offset by an increase in net proceeds from sale of equity securities ($7 million), and other ($7 million).

Cash Flow from Financing Activities
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Net cash used in financing activities$(1,235)$(217)$