Here are 4 advantages of using a CRO in your clinical trials:
- By using a CRO you can avoid having to spend capital on human resources or equipment your organization may not already have. If your pharmaceutical or healthcare organization is not experienced at carrying out clinical trials, the chances are that to successfully complete one you will have to invest in more resources - whether that be more staff, more equipment or something else. If you engage a CRO to work with you will save your organization from having to do this. What’s more, CROs already have the expertise and experience specifically required for carrying out trials that those within your organization or whom you may engage may not have. This expertise may extend to such things as cultural knowledge of the location in which the trial is to be carried out and or even up-to-date knowledge about best processes and practices. This means you may also avoid having to hire additional staff to make sure all bases are covered in this - e.g. hiring an anthropologist ensure all cultural differences that may arise are appropriately translated. You also may avoid risking following a procedure or practice that is outdated and less reliable than more up-to-date ones with which those within a CRO are comfortable and capable of executing.
- You may save time. By engaging a CRO rather than carrying out the trial you may save time in navigating all regulatory and legal requirements with which your organization may not have expertise. For example, often the clinical trial itself will need to be approved by certain regulatory bodies. These bodies may differ based on the different locations in which the trial will be carried out. Then, once a product is developed there are processes and procedures for getting approved from human use. A CRO may be more experienced with these procedures and requirements and in a position to quickly and efficiently ensure all laws and regulations are complied with and thus speed up the clinical trial process.
- You may have a better idea upfront about how much a project may cost. When a CRO is contacted, one of the first things it will do is create a trial plan. This will detail what work they expect the project will require and estimate its total cost. This contrasts with what would probably happen if you attempted to carry the trial out internally. It is likely that in that situation that there would be some costs which your team fails to foresee - the trial process being something that is not regularly carried out by your organization. This could have a detrimental effect on your organization’s budget and due to this have other unforeseen negative consequences for your company.
- You may save money. There are CRO’s all around the world which make it easier to find an organization that suits your budget and circumstances. One of the main reasons why businesses outsource is to reduce costs. Ken Kaitlin, director of Tufts University’s Center for the Study of Drug Development, cited the costs of a certain clinical trial could vary from $10 million in the US or UK, to $7.7 million in Poland, less than $6 million in Asia, and $4 million in Russia. The variations in price points allows your organization choice about where to locate the clinical trial. This means you can make a decision on where you would like to carry out your trial not only based about which location will be the most cost effective but you can also factor in things such as proximity and which location it is most likely your organization will be able to work with most easily from a cultural point of view.
So there you have some pros of working with CROs. What are your thoughts? Have you experienced other positives of working with clinical trial organizations or contract research organizations?
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*Note the terms clinical research organization and contract research organization are sometimes used synonymously with one another but some people distinguish their meaning. To find out more about this see here.
** This article was written with assistance from Jennifer Tran who interned with ContractRoom throughout the summer.