Magazine Article | April 29, 2014

Can CROs Help Reduce The Expense Of Clinical Trials?

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By Kate Hammeke, Director of Marketing Intelligence, Nice Insight

Figures reported by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development state that the average capitalized cost of bringing a new drug to market is about $1.3B. Compare that to the 1991 cost of $318M, and after adjusting the amount for general inflation, it shows a 260% increase over the course of two decades in the cost of developing a drug. Industry data relays that the bulk of drug development costs are incurred during clinical trials, often, Phase 3 trials.

Increased costs make sense when viewed alongside the increase in the average length of a clinical trial (up 70 percent), and the average number of routine procedures per trial (up 65 percent), and the average clinical trial staff work burden (up 67 percent). Despite sharply rising costs, it is highly unlikely we will see a decline in clinical research.

In fact, in the past three years of Nice Insight research, the data has shown an increase in outsourcing clinical trials from 28 percent of respondents in 2012 to 41 percent in 2014. Big Pharma has the highest rate of outsourcing clinical trials at 46 percent, and emerging pharma showed the lowest incidence at 36 percent. These increases coincide with a sharp uptick in the number of registered studies on clinicaltrials.gov — 139,004 in 2012 and 164,703 as of April 8, 2014. As more biopharmaceutical companies emerge with the goal of developing new medicines, and each potential drug requires extensive clinical testing, these are numbers that will continue to grow rapidly.

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