Mar 07

Recession & Clinical Research

Recession and Clinical trials

Clinical trials or clinical research trials are a huge process by which pharmaceutical companies study the effects of a new drug or a new therapy in order to collect safety and efficacy data. Based on those data, the FDA or other government organizations in other countries will decide to approve the new drug /therapy or not. Because of its nature, clinical trials are extremely lengthy and costly, and the challenge to bring a new drug to the market is extremely big, even for the big and experienced pharmaceutical companies or biotech companies.

Recession have been defined by many economist, as a necessary part of our economy. Recessions allow us to redesign our economy, but especially to allow the “fittest” companies to survive, grow. Almost always immune to economic recessions and crisis, the healthcare industry is showing this time ¸signs of weakening and faces severe pressure. And with today’s recession going bad to worst, the worst is to come for the big pharma and biotech companies. Is the clinical trial industry globally ready to face it? What strategies will allow the clinical trial industry to survive the recession?

First, the industry will have (and have started) to reduce the workforce. Investors are more cautious with their investments and less likely to put money into risky drug development. Sponsors are cutting back on their budgets, less important studies will put aside, while the most important studies will see an abrupt cutback on how much money they receive. Therefore, the number of healthcare professionals needed for the industry will be reduced, leading to layoffs of healthcare professionals.

Second, many sponsors will move their work offshore, to other countries. Outsourcing to countries such as China, India, Eastern European countries is now often the key for many biotech and pharmaceutical companies to fight the effects of today’s economic recession. Hence, the value of work outsourced by countries such as the US to other countries can be up to over 40 per cent less.

Third, the clinical trial industry is getting computerized, to fight the effects of the economic turndown. The emergence of technologies has lead to an increase in the number of clinical trial software available. These clinical trial software allow for an increase efficiency in the management of clinical trial data and a reduced cost. Therefore, globally, the clinical trial industry will need to modernize the way of managing data in order to reduce the cost of processing and analyzing huge amounts of data.

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Finally, although economic recessions are difficult to live through, the clinical trials industry can survive the crisis if it wisely consider and adopt new working strategies to reduce the cost, but also to increase the efficiency of work and its workforce.

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