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Making Clinical Trials More Efficient

Executive Summary

Drug firms need to conduct more, bigger, and better-monitored trials. They also need to cut costs. Electronic data capture presents a possible, but far from straightforward, solution.

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More Accurate, Perhaps Cheaper, Clinical Data

In the post-Vioxx era of increased scrutiny into clinical data, spiralling trial costs and a growing mistrust of drug firms' motives, the advantages of electronic diaries for use in clinical trials begin to look clearer. Their adoption has mirrored the industry's uptake of electronic data capture (EDC) systems more broadly: painfully slow until recently, but finally taking off.

More Accurate, Perhaps Cheaper, Clinical Data

In the post-Vioxx era of increased scrutiny into clinical data, spiralling trial costs and a growing mistrust of drug firms' motives, the advantages of electronic diaries for use in clinical trials begin to look clearer. Their adoption has mirrored the industry's uptake of electronic data capture (EDC) systems more broadly: painfully slow until recently, but finally taking off.

Clinical Trials: Eliminating the Paper Chase

For years, companies have offered remote data entry systems to transfer data from trial sites to a central server. But Big Pharma has by and large stuck to its old-fashioned paper ways. Now several start-ups are offering a new breed of web-based RDE and the pharmaceutical industry is starting to take interest. But before embracing an online approach to data collection, drug companies want proof that doing so will save them time and money. Pharma companies must also evaluate how to integrate data collection and management into the rest of their infrastructures. Collaboration rather than competition might best enable pharmaceutical; companies to fully realize the benefits of web-enabled trials through the cooperative sharing of resources.

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