Clinical research organizations (CROs) play a critical role in the successful execution of clinical trials.
However, the elevated cost of CRO services —sometimes up to several million— can often be a significant barrier, especially for sponsors with limited budgets.
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In this article, we will explore the possibility of affordable CROs for clinical trials to be run in the United States and abroad.
We will discuss the need for low-cost options, how CROs can offer lower prices, and whether a cheaper CRO means a compromise in quality.
Additionally, we will introduce Sofpromed, a US-based CRO that provides cost-effective solutions for low-budget clinical trials in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.
Clinical Trials with Less Money
Clinical trials are essential for advancing medical research and bringing new treatments to patients.
However, not all clinical trials have access to substantial funding.
Non-profit academic trials, investigator-initiated trials (IITs), and similar studies with limited financial support often face budgetary constraints.
These clinical trials may be driven by scientific advancement and providing new therapeutic options rather than commercial profit.
Consequently, sponsors of these trials have only modest sums of money to allocate for research purposes, without the support of investors.
The Frequent Need for a Low-Cost CRO
The high cost of traditional CRO services —often millions of dollars— can pose challenges for sponsors with limited budgets.
Big CROs cater to multinational pharmaceutical companies and charge significant fees for their comprehensive range of services.
However, there is a growing demand for smaller CROs that can adapt to lower budgets while maintaining quality standards.
Sponsors with restricted funding —academic institutions and emerging biotech companies— need CROs that can offer competitive pricing without compromising the integrity of the research.
How Can a CRO Offer Lower Quotes?
There are some ways in which a CRO can offer lower prices:
- Smaller Size: Lower Internal Costs
Smaller CROs with fewer employees can operate with lower internal staffing and infrastructure costs.
By maintaining a lean organizational structure, these CROs can pass on the cost savings to their clients.
For instance, a large multinational CRO might charge $190 per hour for a Clinical Project Manager, while a smaller CRO could offer a rate closer to $120 per hour.
This significant difference in pricing allows smaller CROs to offer staff rates that are 30 to 40% cheaper.
- Personnel Located in Countries with Cheaper Costs
The cost of living and salaries vary from country to country.
CROs that have professionals located in countries with lower costs can offer more competitive rates for certain roles.
For example, the salary of a Clinical Data Manager in the United States is higher than that of a Data Manager located in some European countries.
By leveraging staff in different regions, CROs can provide cost-effective solutions to their clients.
- Countries Where the Clinical Trial is Conducted
Conducting a clinical trial in certain countries can significantly reduce costs.
While the United States is a leading country for clinical trials, it is also one of the most expensive in terms of execution costs.
By proposing alternative countries with more competitive prices, CROs can save sponsors a considerable amount of money.
For example, the cost of medical tests and procedures for a patient in an oncology trial can range from $20,000 to $60,000 per patient in the US, while the same clinical trial conducted in hospitals of Eastern Europe might cost between $8,000 and $15,000 per patient.
- Cheaper Software
Choosing cost-effective technological tools is another important source of savings for CROs.
For example, electronic data capture (EDC) systems, which are critical for collecting and managing clinical trial data, can vary in price.
CROs can opt for cheaper EDC solutions that maintain optimal data quality, resulting in significant cost reductions for sponsors.
By carefully selecting software tools, CROs can contribute to decreasing the overall budget of a clinical trial without compromising its quality.
Keeping Costs Low and Quality High
While there is a common perception that cheaper CROs may compromise the quality of service, this is not necessarily the case.
The price of a clinical trial does not always directly correlate with its quality.
High-cost trials conducted by multinational CROs can still experience delays and other challenges, while low-cost trials conducted by smaller CROs can deliver excellent results.
The key lies in finding a CRO that provides commitment, quality, and a competitive price.
Sofpromed: An Affordable CRO for Low-Cost Trials
Sofpromed is a prime example of an affordable CRO that offers cost-effective solutions for low-budget clinical trials.
As a small CRO with 50-75 employees, Sofpromed can offer competitive rates to its clients while maintaining good quality standards.
The company has professionals located in different regions and advises sponsors on selecting strategic countries to reduce costs.
Sofpromed has extensive experience in conducting academic and investigator-initiated trials, ensuring cost-effective, quality-assured professionals and software tools.
While the cost of CRO services can be a significant barrier for sponsors with limited budgets, there are affordable options available on the market.
Smaller CROs, staff located in countries with lower costs, conducting trials in regions with competitive prices, and leveraging cost-effective software tools are some ways in which CROs can offer lower prices.
However, it is crucial to find a CRO that provides commitment, quality, and a competitive price.
Sofpromed is an excellent example of an inexpensive CRO that offers high-quality solutions for low-budget clinical trials run in the US and abroad.