Influence of Cost in the CRO Selection Process

March 1, 2013
Industry Standard Research

Applied Clinical Trials

Applied Clinical Trials, Applied Clinical Trials-03-01-2013, Volume 22, Issue 3

Industry Standard Research

Industry Standard Research (ISR) does a significant amount of research in the area of sponsor/CRO relationships. In the course of conducting this research, ISR developed a unique understanding of the process that sponsors go through to select a CRO and the criteria used to evaluate those invited to bid for a particular piece of work. One common observation from CROs is surprising: cost does not rise to the top of their list of selection drivers. In fact, across all phases of research, cost invariably shows up well down the list, behind therapeutic expertise, quality project managers, and prior relationships. Where does this disconnect come from?

Sponsors were then polled to shed some light on their side of the question. In addition to asking what drives their selection, sponsors were asked to speak about the drivers of non-awards. What causes them to rule out a CRO?

By a substantial margin, high cost is the leading response, lending credence to the notion that sponsors are perhaps more price sensitive in their selection process than they indicate in direct responses. This led to the conclusion that while cost is unlikely to win most bids for a service provider, it can certainly lose a bid.

—Industry Standard Research, www.ISRreports.com.

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