Why Outsource in Clinical Trials Support




In the 1970s, big pharma organizations began outsourcing clinical trials. From then on, third-party vendors entered the market providing even those smaller biopharma companies access to specializations, expertise, and clinical trial locations at scale but at reduced costs. Outsourcing clinical trials have thus really become beneficial. It has accelerated the desired optimizations, decentralization, and diversification of clinical research for the advancement of human health.

Currently, the global healthcare contract research organization market is growing, thanks to increased investments in R&D and the practical time and cost savings made possible through strategic partnerships in outsourcing for support in clinical trials. The 2022 Grand View Research anticipates an expansion of the market size with a compound growth rate of 6.5 percent from 2022 to 2030, already with a USD 42.3 billion market value in 2021.

Let’s unpack what has been said thus far to answer why you would want to outsource in clinical trials support.

female scientist in a laboratory looking into a microscope

1. Cost reduction

In recent years, there has been a merging of health systems to create larger ones under a common administrative framework. There have been frequent mergers and acquisitions such as that of big healthcare organizations acquiring smaller private practices to better navigate regulatory environments. There are two observed practical considerations here for those smaller private practices. On one hand, it’s impractical to own expensive equipment with unknown further utilization rates for such purchases. On the other, it would be impractical also to buy expensive equipment if they would later on just merge or acquire a company or a practice that already has one.

Likewise, there have also been consolidations within clinical research sites. Clinical trial site networks, for example, have been formed to create a stronger, centralized administrative apparatus that could ensure a more consistent operation across the board.

From the standpoint, then, of a study startup, outsourcing clinical trials would not only provide faster, consistent, and more reliable results but also helps avoid capital investment. A pay-per-use setup, for example, would be more practical and less risky than purchasing expensive equipment.

2. Improvement of efficiency

Now, some equipment and technologies easily become outdated. Tasks and processes relying on those would then lead to questionable or unreliable results and low-quality outputs. Some processes may have already been streamlined. But, if they are still relying on outdated equipment and technologies, then they would still end up with the same unreliability and low-quality results.

Strategic outsourcing in clinical trials supports, in contrast, provides more improved, more updated, and more efficient processes. Note the “strategic” qualifier here. You are going to be partnering with a company in an execution-focused environment. Make sure to look at efficiency also, especially before getting into the partnership, through the lenses of time, financial cost, and quality.

3. Access to specializations

As mentioned in a related article, the selection process should be strategic. This is important, especially that what you would want is access to specialized skills and expertise. Outsourcing clinical trials should take into consideration the needs of the research in relation to the desired end result, as well as each research phase or milestone as necessary.

Also, clinical trials support companies have different core specializations and expertise, as well as different levels of experience with those outside their declared or proven core specializations and expertise. Thus, it would also be wise to consider those in deciding whether they could be the one-stop-shop you’re looking for or should you need to outsource different support companies or organizations for the different research stages.

Finally, according to Timothy Krupa, president of TSK Clinical Development, LLC, in an interview, creating strategic partnerships can lead to long-term savings. For him, the model is  “building a team aligned with the goals that can and will ‘do it again.’”

4. Geographical locations

Some researches, especially those that are geared towards coming up with a product for global use or distribution, need a wider research scope for sampling and clinical trials. Clinical research support companies and organizations are already widely available. All you need to do is to tap into them, particularly in the exact geographical locations as needed in your research scope.

5. Focus on strategic activities, core skills

With all those above concerns out of the way through outsourcing clinical trials, you can then put more focus on improving your core skills, as well as your planned strategic activities. Outsourcing allows you to focus on quality and build exceptional teams and partnerships enhanced through working with the same partner again.

close-up view of laboratory vials arranged on a rack

Takeaway: Outsourcing clinical trials

Although the biggest challenge in outsourcing clinical trials, it is important to trust. Too often, time is spent managing the partner, instead of internalizing their partner’s experience and learnings. Now, a common mistake, especially for first outsourced projects is the duplication of efforts and activities usually increasing the pharma company’s bill. Again, it is important to trust. However, to do that even from the beginning, ensure the operational team is aware of the big picture as well as any changes that may arise. Second, maximize your partner’s skills and expertise to their full capabilities. Only then would there be a need to augment with your own effort or support from another support organization. Finally, procedures, metrics, and audits should be well in place to internalize those knowledge and experience into the system of your organization.

The key here is to make your outsourcing strategy relationship-based instead of it being contract-driven. Rather than coming from the idea of risk-sharing, you could approach it through establishing mutual collaboration. This encourages transparency in developing and agreeing to the overall project plans so that both can move forward to the next steps towards corresponding responsibilities with regard to the resulting research output. Again, just make sure to define at the beginning the key performance indicators both can agree on, commit to and, eventually, fulfill.

If you need assistance in selecting the right strategic partnership in outsourcing clinical trials support, we at StratAccess could help you with it.

StratAccess Inc., established in 2012, commits itself to find its clients the right strategic partnerships, such as that of healthcare services, leading to successful solutions. The company’s BPO partners provide services that make a difference in clients’ operations. StratAccess consultants stand ready to help clients take a hard look at their business objectives, organization infrastructure, and operational practices.

We at StratAccess can do the strict qualifying processes on your behalf. Thus, we give you suitable options and match you with the right outsourcing company for your requirements.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Discover more insights