INC Research, a global CRO, has formed a new Site Advocacy Group (SAG) focused on streamlining and enhancing the payment process for clinical research sites. Through this forum, INC Research will work with sites to improve a key aspect of clinical trial management and facilitate ongoing dialogue on operational best practices for conducting successful research.
“Clinical research sites are essential participants in bringing new therapies to market and making them readily available to patients in need,” said Clare Grace, vice president, site and patient access. “To this end, we as an industry must take an active role in providing them with the support they need to be successful. By improving and streamlining the payment process and reducing administrative challenges in managing clinical trials, we are enabling sites to maintain their focus on conducting quality research and meeting enrollment goals. This forum will facilitate meaningful discussions to develop actionable plans that make a real difference for sites and ensure a continued high standard of patient care.”
INC Research’s new SAG was established in response to specific feedback from sites that noted financial challenges to their ongoing sustainability as a participant in the clinical research enterprise. According to the 2014 Site Solutions Summit Survey conducted by the Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS), 65% of sites have less than three months’ operating cash on hand. The survey also concluded that pass-through items are increasing for sites, placing more pressure on cash flow management. CROs can play a major role in alleviating some of this pressure by improving infrastructure and refining processes to better support sites. The Investigator Payment SAG aims to understand in depth the pain points sites experience and modernize financial processes to keep clinical research sites engaged, as well as recruit new sites.
SCRS members across therapeutic practices are invited to join the Investigator Payment SAG, which will kick-off later this year. As part of INC Research’s Circle of Sustainability sponsorship with SCRS, the company is the only CRO now to lead two SAGs—investigator payment and protocol review—in an effort to drive efficiencies across the clinical development process.
“Our SAG program is gaining considerable momentum in the industry and we are fortunate to have INC Research address the issue of clinical research site payments head-on,” said Christine Pierre, president, SCRS. “Opening the lines of communication directly with sites and actively listening to their challenges in order to solve industry issues is exactly why we launched the SAG initiative. We look forward to working with INC to share the results of these efforts.”