Navigating Research Can Be Tricky in Financially Unstable Times

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When it comes to navigating the development pipeline in financially unstable times, the key is no unnecessary surprises.

That was the take-home message from Ken Olovich, RPh, MBA, who works in sourcing and financial and serves as Senior Director at Chorus, sourcing division at Eli Lilly and spoke this week at the 14th Annual Summit for Clinical Ops Executives (SCOPE) meeting in Orlando.

Olovich outlined for his audience some corporate expectations when it comes to financial predictions for research, including:

Knowing that the spending of the trial reasonably matches the work done to date

Knowing when invoices will come and for what amounts

Knowing that the invoices will be timely, so there are "no surprises at the end of the month."


Knowing that change orders are put in place when new work happens.

According to Olovich, the job of forecasting was difficult to begin with because "you forecast too high at the beginning. It's ok but the corporate leads turn away investments they could've made and if you forecast too low, no one is happy."
He noted that the initial problems of COVID-19 were compounded with the Great Resignation, followed by the war in Ukraine, which has led to an increase in inflation from 5.4% in June of 2021, to 9.1% in June 2022, compounding an already fragile system.

Adding to this is the fact that now, price increases on things like organic chemicals, standard supplies like pipette tips, and even research animals leads to compounding costs for research.

The key is to anticipate these risks and be proactive to educate not only the corporate leads but those doing the trials on compliance and regulator demands to help maintain costs..." no unnecessary surprises," Olovich concluded.

Olovich K. Budgeting in Financially Uncertain Times: Planning around Massive Inflation. Presented at: SCOPE; Feb. 6-8, 2022; Orlando, Fla.