Why use a contractor as a research partner?

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pharmacology

Roche spokesperson Chris Kirkpatrick speaks on the advantages of
using a contractor as a research partner at the recent Pabord
pharmaceutical show in London.

"First and foremost, contractors have been there before, and can offer valuable expertise on a given project - they know the regulatory requirements, they know what is measurable,"​ said Kirkpatrick, head of the Clinical Pharmacology Unit at Roche Products.

"Research partners also understand the importance of company strategy and timelines, while at the same time can remain objective and offer valuable advice by spotting flaws in the development process."

On the ever-important issue of money, using contractors can be cheaper than creating systems and processes from scratch and paying site maintenance costs.

Price negotiation is also possible: "Contractors are only going to cost what you're prepared to pay,"​ said Kirkpatrick.

"And if they don't perform, you can get rid of them easily."

Contractors, such as clinical research organisations (CROs), also have a huge range of infrastructure at various locations and skilled staff at their disposal, from monitors, statisticians, data managers, medical writers, regulatory and QA experts, as well as access to a pool of investigators.

Such capacity can help pharma firms achieve international development, as well as assist in details such as short-term budget planning.

However, Kirkpatrick left the audience with a warning: "Beware of empty promises."

"To secure a contract, CROs often promise things they can't deliver, so be alert to this and disregard it as a standard practice,"​ he said.

"Many will offer a special knock-down price if you sign the contract immediately, and add on extra costs at a later date."

Related topics Clinical Development

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