Investigating Clinical Trial Cost-Cutting Innovations

Investigating Clinical Trial Cost-Cutting Innovations

The challenges associated with conducting and managing today’s larger, multinational clinical trials have never been greater. There has been a dramatic increase in costs and trial complexity over the last several years resulting in significant delays caused by lengthy trial startup and clinician enrollment processes.

It was a privilege to talk about these challenges and offer some cost-cutting solutions at the Outsourcing in Clinical Trials – West Coast conference that occurred January 28 - 29 in San Francisco.

A variety of tools and approaches can help mitigate these costs. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, the audience found these approaches to be the most interesting and applicable:

  • “Fast-close algorithm”
    We’re all familiar with sites that fail to enroll patients or fall short of their target enrollment time and time again. These sites are a drain on our time and money and should be quickly identified and dropped. It’s ok to be aggressive with inactive sites. Our “fast-close algorithm” has yielded fantastic results in terms of maximizing the active number of sites on a program.
     
  •  Wireless Medical Devices (ie. Mobile Health or mHealth)
    The future is NOW when it comes to wireless medical devices. Integrating these devices improves data accuracy and speeds up the transfer to the database. Abbe Steel wrote a fantastic series outlining the use of mHealth in clinical trials and post-approval programs. The audience was particularly interested in some of the technology that is still under development, like the Intelligence Toilet from Toto. A “sample catcher” in the bowl can instantly measure vitals in urine and provide that data directly to the study database. These types of advances – in use now and on the horizon – allow patients to participate in the study from the comfort of their home, eliminating the cost and burden of traveling to a site.
     
  • Pre-Enrollment and Engagement
    My favorite part of the presentation occurred when I described the pre-enrollment activities that can be done to make site activation and patient enrollment easier and more efficient. These can include engaging with potential patients and physicians before a trial begins through online communities, enrolling sites as soon as you have an IRB approved protocol, advertising and prescreening patients through a website or call center so you have a database of potential patients as soon as a study officially begins. Many audience members realized, “Wow, not everything has to wait! We can engage with our in-house teams and/or the CRO earlier!”

If you would like more ideas on how to cut costs with your next clinical trial, check out our Top 10 Clinical Trial Cost-Cutting Innovations article or contact us.