The Avoca Quality Consortium Announces New Initiatives for 2014

Mar 03, 2014
By Applied Clinical Trials

The Avoca Quality Consortium (AQC) Membership announces a bold new agenda for 2014, which includes standardizing provider prequalification, expanding membership opportunities, and benchmarking approaches to measuring and managing quality. These and other AQC initiatives will be discussed at the annual industry-wide Summit May 6-7 in Princeton, NJ; May 6 as a Members Only session and May 7 open to the industry.

The AQC is led by The Avoca Group, an industry-leading consulting and research organization, and includes
executives from major biotech and pharmaceutical companies and leading clinical research organizations (CROs).

Key initiatives for 2014 include:

  • Develop a new standard for prequalification for niche providers. By facilitating the sharing of information, AQC hopes to increase efficiency and reduce the costs associated with prequalification.
  • Continue AQC’s efforts to expand the Consortium’s resources and tools for leading practices for quality oversight: focus will be placed on developing principles and tools for Quality by Design and Risk Management.
  • Conduct a benchmarking research effort to measure business practices and the status of quality management practices to gauge whether there has been improvement or decline in quality over the past two years.
  • Kick-off a new collaboration with The Society of Clinical Research Sites (SCRS) to gather sites’ feedback and opinions about quality management practices and sites’ perceptions of sponsors and CROs.
  • Launch an educational webinar series focused on quality management practices.

In an effort to foster even more industry collaboration, for the first time AQC will offer Associate Consortium Membership in 2014 to companies that provide products and services in support of clinical development.

“It is very gratifying to see our Members so engaged in the Avoca Quality Consortium’s efforts and we are very proud of the accomplishments to date,” said Patricia Leuchten, Founder and CEO of The Avoca Group. “We are particularly excited to offer associate membership to niche service providers, as they represent an important segment of our industry and will be important contributors to the Pre-qualification initiative that we are launching this year.”

Industry professionals are encouraged to participate in Day 2 of the Annual Quality Consortium Summit on May 6-7 in Princeton, New Jersey, while Day 1 will be for Consortium Member companies. This year’s Quality Summit will focus on themes that include execution of high quality clinical trials, the drivers of clinical trial participation in different disease populations, the future of the clinical trial enterprise, and achieving progress through collaboration. Jamie Heywood, Chairman and Co-founder of PatientsLikeMe, will deliver the keynote address on May 7th. The subject of Jamie’s talk will be, “Subjects No More- Will Your Trial Meet the Patients’ Eligibility Requirements? Bridging to a Collaborative Patient-Centered Future.”

“The Avoca Quality Consortium has had a positive impact across the industry to create an environment of collaboration between biopharmaceutical sponsors and CROs,” stated John Hubbard, Ph.D., FCP, Senior Vice President and Worldwide Head of Development Operations, Pfizer, Inc, one of the lead sponsors of the AQC. “The work of the Consortium to date, and what we are embarking upon this year, is producing tangible improvements to improve the quality of our clinical trials.”

AQC members have access to research, metrics, and guidelines for Quality Oversight and Risk Management through a user-friendly online technology platform. They also receive regular reports on quality and trends in clinical outsourcing, published by The Avoca Group.