Health Decisions franchises to globalise

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Clinical trial

Health Decisions is “effectively franchising” its clinical trial model to other CROs to create a network of partners that it believes will offer “great flexibility” to clients, according to its COO.

Rick Farris, chief operations officer (COO) at Health Decisions, explained to Outsourcing-Pharma that sponsors are looking for contract research organisations (CRO) to have the capacity to perform trials in the most appropriate geographic region.

To gain the capacity needed to offer these options to clients, and further its mission of improving clinical trial efficiency, Health Decisions has established a CRO network built on its in-house model.

Health Decisions has implemented adaptive operations to improve efficiencies throughout the clinical trial process and this knowledge and training capabilities will be passed on to its partners.

CROs signing up to the network will undertake Health Decisions’ in-house training programme, which is an online Flash-based teaching and testing system that users can access remotely from around the world.

Health Decisions’ partners in the network cover five continents, which is important for the CRO to expand its global reach, and consequently a web-based system is ideal. Farris added that the training programme has been “very, very well received​” and is free to partners.

Joining the network

CROs seeking to join Health Decisions’ network must undergo a series of steps. Farris explained that these are designed to help Health Decisions’ assess the potential partner’s operations and ensure that it shares the same attitude to improving the efficiency of clinical trials.

He added that this important as Health Decisions goal is that partners will be become part of its team, as opposed to being a CRO in a preferred provider network.

To ensure that this is achievable Health Decisions begins the process by sending a questionnaire to the potential partner to help gain an understanding of its operations. Health Decisions follows this up with a conversation and finally an in-depth audit of the partner’s general capabilities.

The initial group

Health Decisions’ first group of potential CRO partners, consisting of six firms, is undergoing the certification process. Farris said that there was “strong interest​” from contacts, with the six CROs undergoing certification joined by 10 that are being explored by Health Decisions.

These 16 CROs all signified their interest when Health Decisions raised the network idea with its contacts. Since then Health Decisions has gone public with the plan and there has been “quite a bit of interest​” from CROs in the wake of the announcement, according to Farris.

He added that most of the CROs are mid-sized or smaller but that Health Decisions would accept larger companies if they shared its focus on raising efficiency in clinical trials.

Referring to potential partners, Farris said in a press statement: “If they are comfortable with adaptive techniques in both design and operations, and pride themselves on relentless efficiency in clinical research, we want to talk to them​.”

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