Managing clinical grant costs

Contemp Clin Trials. 2009 May;30(3):221-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2009.02.001. Epub 2009 Feb 12.


The rapidly increasing cost of pharmaceutical R&D presents a major challenge for the industry. This paper examines one aspect of that spending, clinical grants, and presents ways that pharmaceutical companies can best manage those expenditures. The first part of the paper examines the role of clinical grant payments as a motivation for clinical trial participation. The second part outlines a number of current management practices for controlling clinical grant costs. Financial compensation is an important matter for many physicians conducting clinical trials, especially those in office-based practices and those conducting phase 4 clinical trials. Since financial considerations are important to most types of investigators, and there is no compelling evidence that paying at high rates insures timely performance or quality data, companies engaging clinical investigators must manage their clinical grant funds as effectively as possible. Sound financial management requires that clinical development professionals appreciate the complex relationship between the pharmaceutical company and the physicians who serve as clinical investigators on that company's clinical trials. Sensible financial management of clinical grants also demands that sponsor companies get the most value for their clinical grant spending. Ultimately, good clinical grant management requires an attitude that combines good business sense with an understanding that pharmaceutical R&D strives to bring to market new drugs that can help patient populations around the world. Investigators are medical contractors in clinical trials, and while they are engaged in their vital research, they are a part of the research process that must be carefully budgeted and managed. Society, pharmaceutical companies, clinical investigators, and patients will reap the benefits of adequately budgeted, and well managed clinical grants.

MeSH terms

  • Budgets
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / economics*
  • Cost Control / methods
  • Drug Industry / economics*
  • Health Expenditures*
  • Humans
  • Research Personnel / economics
  • Research Support as Topic / economics*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States