The clinical research industry we know today is experiencing significant facelift. That’s not just something natural but also something that has long been expected, taking into consideration the fact that clients’ needs, researchers’ demands, as well as the methodologies, tools, systems and techniques used are also undergoing major changes. New trends are emerging along the way. Boundaries are falling down and more trial procedures are conducted in countries such as Israel, India, Mexico, South Korea, China and others. On top of this widening scope, research organisations and companies are unhesitatingly exploring new efficient and innovative ways that will help them improve research processes, while trying to attract more participants. In addition to this, experts in the field are determined to give rise to new opportunities by speeding up drug development and boosting drug launches in the market. There is a certain openness that escalated in the last couple of years and a notable decrease in terms of research reservations, doubts and fear. And it’s not that researchers dive into the unknown ignoring all the risks. On the contrary. They take the necessary measures in order to be able to try out different advantageous horizons. And when such movements and steps are well calculated and pre-planned, the result will be seen in much more satisfying services, more successful clinical trials and better outsourcing.
In order to shed more light on this matter, we provide you a list of top 5 trends in clinical research. They include:
- GREATER THAN BEFORE OUTSOURCING
Undoubtedly clinical research has survived and continues to survive in an era of escalating costs and growing complexity. However, pharmaceutical companies are looking for more operational tactical approaches in order to develop new treatments, make researching activities more adequate and minimize expenditures. One of the ways such companies have decided to deal with these issues is by clinical trials off-shoring. In other words, they have started to emphasise on outsourcing clinical research practices. According to the findings in a report by Transparency Market Research, the outsourced research market will reach $65.03 billion by 2018. Thus, more governmental and non-governmental institutions expand their range of services (like preclinical evaluation, clinical trial planning, clinical trial management, regulatory consulting and others) and provide them to more distant locations. Consequently, developing countries are in demand because the competition and the cost there is smaller. And that allows researchers to invest their money in more imperative segments. Convinced in the growing demand for outsourcing, Joe Herring, CEO at Covance, forecasts that about 70% of the clinical trials sector will be outsourced in less than 30 years.
- BIOPHARMA COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS
It’s been estimated that 38% of healthcare products taken all together are extremely temperature-sensitive. In order for their qualities and usability to be preserved, they require proper conditions even when they are being transported and stored. In this regard, cold chain handling of pharmaceuticals is emerging as a new trend and is receiving more and more attention in research companies. That respectively, promotes the need for updated packaging methods as well as new technologies and equipment. Lastly, that equipment will not only guarantee for appropriate temperature monitoring throughout the investigational product life-cycle but will also keep expenses low.
- BOOM OF TECHNOLOGY
That isn’t very new to the sector. Still though the role of innovative and more advanced technology seems to be of major importance. Some biopharmaceutical companies have been slow in terms of trusting electronic solutions and hardly consider them as capable of revolutionising clinical research. But there are many other investigative professionals and contract research organisations (CROs) that believe in technology being a key to improving clinical studies, accelerating study start-up, enhancing patient recruitment, contributing to more efficient study monitoring, offering quicker transmission of clinical research data, enabling of earlier reporting of adverse drug events and so on. As a proof of this, eClinical reports that as late as 2020 the market will see an annual growth of 13.8% when it comes to relying on cloud-based solutions and platforms.
Another trend in clinical research is the adoption of e-signatures. The use of technology and mobile devices enables investigators to stride towards such tendencies and fit them in their daily processes. The adoption of e-signatures offer benefits such as faster electronical archiving of documentation, reduced time in terms of collecting the required signatures and correcting files if there are errors. What is more, it also makes it possible for documents to be signed faster, anytime, anywhere and on any device, and eliminates a great amount of annoying paperwork.
- MORE PATIENT-FOCUSED PROCEDURES
Clinical research is impossible without patients and their role evolves over time. Therefore more and more trials are becoming patient-centred. What does that mean? It means that research practices move towards promising better experience to patients through different means and approaches. Thus, the preferences, values, expectations, comfort and needs of study participants are the factors that shape the design and conduct of studies. In addition to this, the patient centricity defines participants as actively engaged and allows them to take part in open discussions on draft protocols and other formal documentation. Data transparency is also encouraged and for this reason, various reliable websites contain published copies of the clinical protocol as well as the results of trials available for peer-reviews.
In conclusion, the clinical research sector is shifting. It will come as no surprise to say that positive changes in this field are driven only with the adoption of new positive trends. Whether it would be integration of advanced technology, improved outsourcing services or something else, the research industry needs such effective tendencies in order to function more smoothly and to deliver better results.