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European Pharmaceutical Contractor

Getting Interactive

The pharmaceutical market is booming, evidenced by revenue numbers which exceeded the $1 trillion milestone in 2015, as noted in the International Trade Commission’s 2016 Top Markets Report on Pharmaceuticals (1). A good portion of that is invested in research, so there are a lot of promising developments happening in the clinical trial space. Despite these advancements, however, many industry investments in research are wasted due to problems with clinical supply management.

To get to the heart of the issue, 200 studies that wrapped up over the past two years have recently been reviewed. Out of them, 62% of the material packaged and released was not even used – two thirds of supplies never actually made it to a patient, meaning there was unnecessary spending.

Assessing the Costs

What makes up the costs associated with clinical supplies? One of the biggest considerations is drug expenses, which includes everything from production to packaging and storage. For these factors, there are fixed and variable costs that must be closely examined – for example, if a trial has 1,000 patients getting three kits each, 3,000 kits must be produced. It is also important to create an overage as it is impossible to know where those patients are going to be at all times. Buffers are also necessary and it is vital to ensure that sites do not run out of drugs.

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Stefan Dürr has been working with interactive response technologies for 12 years and is currently Senior Director of Project Management at Cenduit. He is responsible for global project management and support services groups at the company with teams in India, Japan, Switzerland and the US. Stefan holds a Master’s of Science in Molecular Biology and is passionate about finding innovative solutions for clinical supply challenges.
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