Simulation of clinical trials

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2000;40:209-34. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.40.1.209.


Computer simulation of clinical trials has evolved over the past two decades from a simple instructive game to "full" simulation models yielding pharmacologically sound, realistic trial outcomes. The need to make drug development more efficient and informative and the awareness that many industries make extensive use of simulation in product development have advanced considerably the use of simulation of clinical trials in pharmaceutical product development over the past decade. The structural and stochastic components of trial simulation models are explained as a prelude to a listing of representative simulation projects, reflecting investigative applications of statistical methods, trial design comparisons, and full simulation of new drugs being developed. Lessons learned from these projects are reviewed in the context of their current impact and potential for influencing the future of drug development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Humans
  • Research Design
  • Software