CRO Quality Benchmarking

Applied Clinical Trials

 It is well known within the industry that being on a sponsor’s preferred provider list affords a critical leg up to providers hoping to win business. Phase II/III work is no exception. In the 7th edition of Industry Standard Research’s CRO Quality Benchmarking - Phase II/III Service Providers report, ISR digs a bit deeper into the dynamics of preferred provider lists and how these lists affect CRO selection for Phase II/III studies.

 

It is well known within the industry that being on a sponsor’s preferred provider list affords a critical leg up to providers hoping to win business. Phase II/III work is no exception. In the 7th edition of Industry Standard Research’s CRO Quality Benchmarking - Phase II/III Service Providers report, ISR digs a bit deeper into the dynamics of preferred provider lists and how these lists affect CRO selection for Phase II/III studies.

“Does your company have formal preferred provider agreements for Phase II/III services?” (Base = 167)

Two-thirds of respondents relay that their company utilizes formal preferred provider agreements for their Phase II/III work.  However, when these data are examined by company size, it becomes obvious that large sponsor companies rely on these lists much more so than their smaller counterparts.  83% of large sponsor organizations utilize PPAs compared to 53% of mid-size sponsors and only 14% of small sponsors.  CROs would do well to recognize that fighting for a spot on the preferred provider list at large organizations is a critical undertaking but might not even be an available option at the mid-size and smaller companies. 

 

 

ISR also collected insights into how preferred provider lists impact the criteria used to select a CRO for Phase II/III work to test the hypothesis that providers are gauged differently based on whether the sponsor company (a) is selecting a CRO from a preferred provider list, (b) has a list of preferred providers but is selecting a provider not on that list, or (c) does not have a preferred provider list. Though some attributes such as Operational excellence are considered important regardless of the decision-making scenario, the data have uncovered meaningful differences regarding selection drivers in each of the aforementioned scenarios.

For example, among respondents who are selecting among their preferred providers, Therapeutic expertise does not crack the top four most important attributes when selecting a Phase II/III provider while it ranks as more important when sponsors are selecting a non-preferred provider or when they do not use PPAs. ISR postulates this is due to the sponsor organization already having become comfortable with the CROs’ therapeutic expertise during the process of adding each provider to the preferred provider list.  This means when a CRO is bidding for work in a situation where it is already on the preferred provider list, the CRO may not need to spend significant time convincing the decision-making team of its expertise in the desired therapy area but can instead focus on featuring other critical capabilities.

ISR provides further analysis regarding selection criteria and preferred provider dynamics as well as detailed service provider performance metrics in its CRO Quality Benchmarking - Phase II/III Service Providers report