By Russell John
Clinical trials are a vast matrix of services functioning at overlapping intervals across numerous operational units. These services, independently, are integral to collect the data needed to advance the research, but they must be coordinated to function interdependently with one another to effectively execute a clinical trial. Often the terms of the Clinical Trial Agreements (CTA) are developed independently of the site-level budget, payment terms, and Clinical Trial Management Systems (CTMS) set-up. As these terms are negotiated and modified, the terms among these tools must also be coordinated in order to avoid startup delays, issues executing the clinical trial, or problems with making payments to sites. The coordination of information and format of these tools is imperative to the global requirements for transparency. Timely and accurate development and negotiation of the CTA, including the budget and payment terms, are often the rate-limiting factor to start-up timelines and, if not coordinated effectively, result in delays further into the study as the timelines move to executing investigator payments.