Survey: PSI, INC Research, Chiltern rated top CROs by investigative sites

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

More than 1,900 global investigative sites rate the best CROs for which to work in a new survey conducted by CenterWatch, a provider of global clinical trials information. The survey results were released in the April issue of The CenterWatch Monthly newsletter.

Investigative sites rated CROs on more than three dozen individual relationship attributes. The top five highest-rated CROs were PSI CRO, INC Research, ChilternPPD and Covance. Rounding out the list of 11 CROs with sample sizes large enough to analyze were Quintiles, Medpace, Icon, PRA Health SciencesParexel and inVentiv.

CROs have become more effective in managing working relationships with investigative sites during the past two years, since the last CenterWatch survey was conducted. CenterWatch analysis suggests as sponsors increasingly adopt integrated and strategic outsourcing partnerships that give CROs greater responsibility for selecting and managing sites, the average CRO has made great strides in improving its working relationships with sites. The proportion of site respondents giving the average CRO an excellent rating has nearly doubled in the past decade, from about 25% in 2003 to 45% this year.

The average CRO improved its performance in several key areas, including working effectively with sponsors and conducting clear study initiation visits and training. Yet more than half of sites said there is room for improvement in categories including ensuring study monitors are well-trained and understand the protocol, resolving problems quickly, adequate patient recruitment support and timely grant payments, all areas CROs increasingly are managing for sponsors.

“A growing number of CROs recognize that establishing and supporting strong relationships with experienced investigative sites is essential to clinical trial success,” said Joan Chambers, chief operating officer of CenterWatch. “This is an important competitive advantage at a time when CRO efforts to differentiate their capabilities are intensifying.”

The CenterWatch Global Investigative Site Relationship Survey was first launched in 1997. This year’s survey was conducted online between October 2014 and January 2015, and asked principal investigators, sub-investigators and study coordinators to rate the CROs with whom they worked during the past two years on 38 relationship attributes, from study planning to innovation, and to rate the importance of those attributes as well. A total of 11 CROs with sufficient sample sizes were profiled in the analysis.

In March, CenterWatch released the first part of this global study, in which investigative sites evaluated their relationships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide.

CROs interested in receiving a comprehensive report on their company-specific results of the 2015 survey can contact Joan Chambers at (617) 948-5110 or joan.chambers@centerwatch.com. Custom reports provide company-specific results compared with industry benchmarks and past survey findings. To read the full survey report, subscribe to The CenterWatch Monthly or purchase the April issue.

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