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How to overcome challenges in clinical trial supplies

Updated: Jan 26

Here are three ways CSI helps you overcome challenges to ensure successful delivery of your clinical trial supplies

Managing clinical trial supplies continues to be a challenge for companies in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Amongst dealing with unpredictable lead times, restrictions on availability and trial delays, sponsors must consider the most appropriate strategies, to overcome challenges, save resources, and ensure trial success.

CSI has over 25 years of experience in developing effective comparator sourcing strategies. We use our expertise to successfully plan and manage the comparator sourcing supply chain, to help shorten the supply chain process, minimise risk and maximise cost savings.

There are many prominent challenges sponsors have experienced over the last few years, including expiry dates, COVID-imposed restrictions on comparator availability, stock wastage, and acquisition cost. Here are 3 ways CSI helps you overcome these challenges to ensure the successful delivery of your clinical trial supplies:

1. Balancing the risk of supply shortages against wastage

The pharmaceutical industry continues to struggle with ongoing shortages of comparator drugs and investigational medicinal products (IMPs). Companies are increasingly pooling clinical trial supplies in fear of another nationwide lockdown or shipment delays caused by the pandemic and Brexit. With decentralised trials also increasing, companies are ensuring they have product overages to account for patients running out of medication.

Pooled supplies and product overages can lead to wastage, which is a significant strain on financial resources. To avoid wastage, companies are accounting for a lower percentage of overage than they might usually. Minimising overage to only what is necessary, can reduce the number of products that go unused, therefore reducing product wastage.

2. Balancing comparator acquisition price against reliability

The cost to acquire comparator products and IMPs is often high due to a competitive market, premium manufacturers' command for clinical trials, shipment delays and supply shortages. When choosing a comparator supplier, it’s important to consider the cost of the product while ensuring the reliability of the supply isn’t compromised. When comparator products are in limited supply, sponsors are often forced to pay retail prices compared to wholesale or local prices to secure sufficient supply, which can be very costly.

Choosing a comparator sourcing partner that uses the best strategy for your trial design and comparator product will ensure you can maximise cost-effectiveness. A comparator sourcing partner will use local, market or manufacturer sourcing strategies based on the location of your clinical trial and available supply, to save you time and resources throughout the clinical trial supply chain.

3. Use trial forecasting to source products within expiry

With lengthy lead times and delays in the clinical trial supply process, it’s common for comparator products and clinical trial supplies to surpass their expiration date before reaching the end of the study. When sponsors pool comparator products, have large overages or experience significant delays in the clinical trial supply chain, often the products can expire prior to being used in the trial.

This can cause disruption to patient activities and result in relabelling activities at trial sites and distribution depots to extend the expiry dates on product supply. Sourcing partners must forecast the supply chain and understand the trial design to source and distribute products to the right place at the right time. This helps to reduce wastage, use products within the expiry dates, and save resources.

Choose the right comparator sourcing partner

By partnering with CSI, your clinical trial supplies and comparator sourcing strategy will take the most appropriate route to overcome challenges and improve the speed and agility of your trial.

We leverage our global network of over 95 manufacturers to source high-quality comparator drugs and ensure the efficient, effective delivery of your studies. We improve trial success rates by securely sourcing comparator drugs in short supply with the longest expiry, ensuring comparators are available for trial participants.

Contact us to discuss how we source comparators globally to ensure the successful supply of your clinical trials.


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