The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the adoption of decentralized clinical trials due to its critical benefits of contactless virtual trials and improving the patient and physician experience. Clinical trial sponsors are continuously trying to make clinical trials faster and improve the experience for patients and physicians. A decentralized trial has emerged as a critical solution. It involves bringing an increasing proportion of a trial’s activities to the patients instead of using the traditional method of bringing patients to a trial site. As health-system resources became consumed by COVID-19-related care and travel became limited by physical distancing, patients’ access to trial sites was reduced by 80%. The number of monthly trials declined by 50% from January 2020 to April 2020, and 60% of CROs reported a significant reduction in trial activities in May 2020. In the face of such disruption, sponsors mobilized rapidly to preserve the continuity of care and data integrity, by adopting remote consent and patient monitoring, videoconference assessments, and at-home phlebotomy.
Many big CROs have already started adopting decentralized clinical trials. Parexel is leading the trend with more than 160 decentralized clinical trials and implemented around 200 remote patient engagement strategies (patient recruitment and retention platforms, e-visits/video dosing regimens, and patient insight projects) incorporated into trials.
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Large CROs are collaborating with smaller regional CROs to benefit from their knowledge of the local market, and maintain high profit margins, low overhead costs, and their overall competitiveness in the market
The CRO market is moving toward consolidation due to increasing numbers of mergers and acquisition
Suppliers widely prefer approved provider operating models to reduce risks and improve the potential for value creation
Grand View Research has identified the following key cost components for availing CRO services:
Drug safety management
Biological sample logistics
Clinical supplies logistics
Site identification and selection
Site contracting and payments
Site initiation and activation
Study files/document management
Communication with central CRO/sponsor
Clinical procedure is the major cost component of a CRO, accounts for more than 45% of the total cost of service.
Covance (Lab. Corp.)
PRA Health Sciences
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