I've got a quick question for those of you with the increasingly difficult responsibility of executing clinical trial protocols:
Do you want to reduce waste and cost in your clinical trial supply chain while completing your study on time & on budget?
I just got back from a conference where I spent three days asking one simple question over and over again to hundreds of PI's, Trial Managers, and Study Coordinators: "Do you include line items for study inventory & supply management in your Sponsor budgets?"
9 times out of 10 the answer was, "No - but I'd love to learn how!"
We recently conducted a global survey of clinical research sites around the world.
The goal was to better understand the challenges sites face when it comes to tracking, organizing, and managing their study drugs, lab kits, devices, specimen shippers, and everything else their clinical trials require (and the list goes on and on).
Not surprisingly, we discovered that most sites don't actively manage their clinical trial supplies and inventory. The ones that do rely on sticky notes and spreadsheets as their main tools. It's clear to most Study Coordinators why sticky notes are not an ideal long term solution for inventory management, but what about spreadsheets?
When we first set out to build Slope we guessed that clinical research sites would use our platform to organize, track, and manage their lab kits. Our initial goal was to address the big problem of lab kit oversupply that this ACRP blog post does an excellent job of describing.
Within days of our launch we witnessed study sites around the world using our platform to not only track their lab kits, but also their study drugs, devices, equipment, bulk supplies, and shipping materials.
Clinical research is a team sport. From drug developers to study coordinators to patients (and every role in between) it takes a huge amount of effort and teamwork to help a drug or device achieve commercialization.
In addition to people, clinical trials also require lots of different drugs, devices, lab kits, diagnostic equipment, specimen shippers, and bulk supplies.
Clinical trial waste is really getting out of hand, and study sites around the world are feeling the effects. Today we explore the unintended consequences of lab kit over (and under) supply.
Joy Jurnack, an ACRP Academy Board of Trustee, Research Nurse, and Patient Advocate, did a wonderful job framing the challenges study sites face from lab kit oversupply. While pre-packaged kits can be a time saver for busy clinical research coordinators, excess inventory creates tremendous waste, takes up precious space in supply closets, and hurts site efficiency.
We are living in the age of information, witnessing the development of the Internet of things, the slow march forward of artificial intelligence, and a renaissance of global communication. All of this is powered by automation. How will this change the world of clinical research?