According to a 2016 report by the International Trade Association, there are an estimated 100,00 over-the-counter drug products marketed and sold in U.S. stores. Thousands of those drug products have been made available after rigorous clinical testing and clinical research.
Thanks to the pharmaceutical industry, many deadly diseases have been cured. For example, Hepatitis C once required lifelong treatment and potentially a liver transplant. Today, 90 to 95 percent of patients can now be cured after receiving an 8-12 week drug treatment.
By 2020, the global pharmaceutical industry will grow to reach a value of $1.43 trillion according to the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations.
In 2017, the research-based pharmaceutical industry spent $149.8 billion on research and development according to the IFPMA. With the pharmaceutical industry expected to grow in the coming years that means that the work of clinical contract research organizations (or clinical CRO) will take on an even greater importance.
When it comes to drug testing, working with a clinical CRO can be very important, especially for clinical trials. Here are three reasons that working with a clinical CRO is beneficial:
- Experience: Clinical trials are important, but they cost time and money to undertake. A clinical CRO has experience for carrying out trials.
There are typically four phases to clinical trials:
- Phase One clinical trials test safety in human use.
- Phase Two clinical trials test a drug’s effectiveness at treating disease. Phase two trials typically involve a larger group of people than a phase one trial and these studies can take up to two years.
- A Phase Three clinical trial tests large scale safety and effectiveness.
- Phase Four clinical trials tests long term safety.
A good clinical CRO will know all the best procedures and practices for carrying out a trial and this saves the hassle of having to hire extra people or spending time and money that aren’t necessarily available on equipment to carry out the trial.
- Saving Time and Money: Hiring a CRO to carry out a trial can save you time in trying to navigate all its elements from regulations to legal matters to the science. Most clinical trials require various forms of approval and a CRO can navigate through all that effectively.
As of 2014, five of the world’s leading 11 research and development firms were pharmaceutical companies and there are many options available when it comes to choosing the right CRO for a clinical trial. Some CROs specialize in certain kinds of trials, so if a company has a specific type of drug or medicine to put through a trial, that specific CRO can help.
- Cost Estimates: As with any good contractor, a clinical CRO will create a trial plan, which maps out a trial in its entirety, from what materials will be needed to how much the whole thing will cost. Conducting a trial without the help of a CRO might lead to additional or unforeseen costs a company may or may not have.
According to the European Pharmaceutical Review, of all the compounds put under researchers’ microscopes in 2015, only 56 were launched as new medicines. That means doing a clinical trial and doing it correctly is important. Whether a company is doing diabetes clinical trials, Alzheimer’s research studies or epilepsy studies, a good and reputable CRO can make sure every clinical trial is a wise investment of time and money.