Taking On the High Costs of Clinical Trials

It’s common knowledge that clinical research is an expensive endeavor. From drug development, to compensation for staff and patients, to adoption of eClinical technology and beyond, the average medical product can run a tab ranging in the billions of dollars by the time it reaches FDA submission.1 Let’s explore some of the ways these high costs impact clinical research, and how the industry can mitigate them.


High costs in clinical trials: What are the effects?


Clinical trial migration
There has been much industry buzz recently around the rise of clinical research in areas like APAC at the expense of the West. A joint study by SCORR Marketing and Applied Clinical Trials identifies the high costs of clinical trials in the US and Europe as the top reason for companies moving their research elsewhere.2 And CenterWatch notes that clinical trials in China or India can be conducted “at a fraction of the cost” compared to the US and EU.3

Low return on investment
The more it costs to bring a new drug or medical device to market, the harder it is for companies to recoup their investment. The price of bringing a new drug to market already ranges in the billions of dollars – and high clinical trial costs only exacerbate this challenge. Without the technology and resources to keep clinical trial costs in check, achieving a return on investment will remain an uphill battle.


Mitigating costs through technology

With or without the technological solutions aiding the industry today, clinical trials come with a big price tag. But there are ways that these solutions can offset some of the costs causing complications and slowing progress throughout the industry. A study for the US Department of Health and Human Services collected the top drivers of costs in pharmaceutical trials, and found that among the list are:

  • Site monitoring costs – Medrio’s eSource tool enables remote data sharing and drastically reduces SDV, making monitoring more efficient and less costly.
  • Patient recruitment and retention– Clinical trial site staff have utilized Medrio’s ePRO application to enhance the patient experience, thereby disincentivizing patient attrition.5


As for the cost of technology itself: lessening this burden is often a matter of savvy vendor selection. There are numerous avenues through which eClinical users can incur costs if they’re not careful: They can end up paying extra for modules like dictionary coding and file attachments, or for programmers to assist with study build. Medrio enables users to avoid these costs. Consolidated pricing includes modules complementary to our core EDC and eSource tools, so that users know what they’re getting. And tasks like study build can be performed without reliance on external programmers, leading to big savings on outsourcing.


It’s important to Medrio that as many clinical trials as possible have access to the tools that can accelerate the market arrival of life-saving medical products. In such a cost-sensitive industry, making those tools cost-efficient is one of the best ways to do so.

1. http://csdd.tufts.edu/news/complete_story/tufts_csdd_rd_cost_study_now_published
2. https://www.scorrmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2017-ACT-Global-Trends-Report.pdf
3. https://www.centerwatch.com/news-online/2017/07/24/attractiveness-conducting-clinical-trials outside-u-s/
4. alfresco.ubm-us.net/alfresco_images/pharma/2016/08/24/04234adf-dba1-4bb7-9dbbe2838982c7ee/PaperlessClinicalTrials%20SurveyReport2016.pdf
5. www.atlantclinical.com/patient-retention-in-clinical-trials