By Morgan King, IQVIA Technologies, and Sharon Gordon, IQVIA Technologies
Disagreements about budgets can delay or stall drug development. As the clinical research industry experiences unprecedented rises in costs, having the most current data available when creating and negotiating your budget is more critical than ever. Understanding all the benchmarking tools available, updating your benchmarks and exchange rates regularly, and considering the use of benchmarks above the median may provide you with a better framework for negotiations.
In the three years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation has skyrocketed at rates unseen in decades, and now the Great Resignation has led to staffing shortages across the pharmaceutical industry. For clinical trial sites, attrition rates have climbed from 10%-37% pre-pandemic to the current rate of 35%-61%. To recruit and retain staff, sites are experiencing 30%-50% staffing budget increases. Meanwhile, operational costs have rocketed as supply chain shortages and inflation drive lab materials and disposable personal protective equipment prices.
Given the twin pressures of inflation and attrition, clinical trial sites are asking for much higher budgets, leading to prolonged negotiations. Sponsors need reliable data to negotiate fair market value budgets with sites.
 Source: Open Letter to Sponsor and CRO Colleagues Regarding the Workforce Retention and Inflationary Pressures Affecting Clinical Trial Sites – Society for Clinical Research Sites (myscrs.org)