Planning a clinical trial means juggling and balancing multiple factors and priorities. In fact, a successful trial is so much more than managing data, sites, patients and hoping for a fruitful outcome.
Pharma and biotech companies need to ensure that their future trial is in alignment with internal and external capabilities for development, manufacturing, and distribution. They also have the final goal of profitably marketing their new product. In order to achieve this complex endeavor, they need to make strategic decisions and work with a substantial amount of data.
Small and mid-size sponsor companies often don’t have internal capabilities for in-depth feasibility analyses. It has become an industry standard to ask Clinical Research Organisations (CRO) for data. Since sponsors often need support from CROs for the execution of their late-stage trials, they expect to receive early on feasibility insights. However, before selecting the winning CRO, the sponsor has a smart move ahead – request-for-proposals (RFPs).
RFPs are a way to invite CROs to the bid defense process. For the CROs, it means a possibility to win a project. However, in reality, RFPs often mean nothing but extra work for free.
Sponsors are in a stronger position, and CROs have to comply if they want to play the game. Moreover, they want to exceed expectations to become the desired partner and provide detailed feasibility assessments and relevant insights for the RFP.
It is an open secret that many sponsors are using RFPs as a source of information for their strategic decisions, such as final country and site selection, possible key opinion leader (KOL) contacts, etc. In summary, RFPs are not only a method of vendor selection, financial assessments, or a comparison of experiences, but also a way to save time and money on feasibility research. Information for strong RFPs should include:
· Indication Feasibility – Country-specific indication insights
· Historical Trial Data – Data on previous comparable studies and the CRO’s experience
· KOL – Knowledge of local key opinion leaders and contact details
And much more. Be that as it may, CROs, which will be the ones invited to the bid defense table are the ones positively answering:
“Who can help me approve my drug/medical device, get market access as soon as possible and in the most cost-efficient way?”
In fact, the right connections to KOLs, or even regulatory bodies might be worth a hundred times more than the most data-backed proposal out there.
Yet, a data-backed proposal is the minimum standard of the industry. Therefore, a CRO needs to find the right balance of time investment and data disclosure for their RFPs in order to be successful and time-efficient.
If you are ready to automate the proposal process, then you’re going to love TrialHub. And if you have any thoughts or ideas on how to help CROs optimize their resources and win more projects, get in touch – we welcome new perspectives and are here to help.