By Mike Novotny, founder and CEO, Medrio
Whether it’s new approaches to clinical trial design, a surge in eClinical technology, or recent medical breakthroughs, clinical research is under the influence of a wide array of forces driving its evolution. For CROs, some of the greatest impact has come from two related trends:
- Globalization of operations - Regions like India and the Asia Pacific (APAC), with their vast patient populations and lower clinical trial costs, have unleashed a frenzy of clinical trial activity, with many organizations - even those based in Western countries - running trials at sites in China, Japan, and elsewhere. A recent concurrence of infectious disease outbreaks, whether Ebola in West Africa, Zika or Chagas in Latin America, or HIV in South Africa, have also contributed to the globalization of clinical research. As eligible patients for trials of treatments for these diseases reside largely or almost exclusively in the regions where these outbreaks have taken place, clinical trials have crossed oceans and continents to set up sites in those regions.
- The rise of outsourcing - All of this comes as sponsors increasingly outsource their clinical trial operations to CROs in search of greater cost efficiency. Industry research shows that the share of CRO-managed trials as a percentage of the total number of trials increased eight percent between 2013 and 2017. This growth is expected to continue, increasing competition for sponsor business - and placing a higher premium on eClinical technology and other resources that empower CROs to better navigate that competition.