Clinical trials are still somewhat behind the general trend when it comes to embracing new technologies. A survey conducted by the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium
(CDISC) and CenterWatch of 750 members throughout the clinical research community suggests that 75% of trials still rely on paper data collection as their primary tool. This is in spite of the fact that electronic data collection tools have been available for more than 20 years.
These kinds of inefficiencies are costing the industry big.
According to CDISC and CenterWatch survey respondents, the current set of available options simply aren’t up to par. 69% of sponsors and 67% of CROs feel that existing technological applications do not have “adequate functionality to meet the current needs.” As a result, the rate of tech innovation and adoption has stagnated, and efficiency has been on the steady decline.
It seems like respondents were just not informed about novel available options, unfortunately.
Many sponsors utilize online screeners and call centers to reduce some of the recruitment burden on the site level. However, when this information is siloed, patients are often subjected to the same questions or processes when they arrive at the investigator site.
Interestingly, recent surveys show that up to 50% of patients considering participating in a clinical trial listed lack of transportation as a barrier. AbbVie, Merck, Sage Therapeutics, Ironwood, and Acadia partnered with with mobile car service provider Lyft to offer transportation to patients enrolled in clinical trials.
Coping with extraneous data is also a key strategy for conserving money. According to research from Tufts CSDD, losses due to avoidable data-related issues range between $4 and $6 billion each year. The problem is widespread, the report explains, affecting roughly one in five (22.3%) trials for more than $1 million per trial. A greater percentage of Phase III trials collected extraneous data (24.7) than Phase II trials (17.7%) did.
Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) offers a solution. Proposed strategy differs substantially from the common practice of leveraging a prior study protocol and making modifications in response to current stakeholder requests. MDIC offers to reduce points in clinical research forms (CRFs) and carefully watch database development and management.
Data inefficiencies-related financial burden is well-recognized for a long time. Earlier in 2009 a ban for patient paper diaries in favor of electronic was proposed to achieve cost reductions. Back in 2014 electronic CRFs were estimated to be roughly three times cheaper than paper CRFs.
Relentless pharma market growth should not be a reason to ignore implementation of cost-effective strategies into clinical research. And since all the market participants are willing to reduce expenses, we will eventually face the inevitable future.