Understanding Contract Research Organizations

Contract research organizations (CROs) are a vital cog in the clinical trial industry and fundamental to medical research projects. Many leading organizations now leverage a CRO to provide support services for their research.

CROs have become increasingly important across the medical device, biotechnology, and the pharmaceutical industries. Companies in the medical research sector use CRO partners to outsource vital operations, such as research and manufacturing. In many circumstances, contract research organizations are the drivers behind clinical trials.

What Is a Contract Research Organization?

A CRO company is a third-party organization that works independently on behalf of other companies. Corporations in the medical field contract CROs to helm their clinical trials and research projects.

Businesses tap into the expertise of CROs to help them gain more expertise. Outsourcing can help companies gain results without having to hire additional staff. Results usually speak for themselves, with industry reports pointing to a clear reduction in time when a CRO does a clinical trial compared to a business doing its own research.

Furthermore, CRO partnerships help to reduce costs and remove the need to expand infrastructure. Flexibility is an important part of the sector, so CROs are as hands-on or advisory as the client wants.

When a company hands complete control of a clinical trial to a CRO, the contractor will handle all aspects of the research. For example, CROs will handle everything, including passing regulatory hurdles, organizing the trial structure, and acquiring test patients.

It is worth noting that while an organization can pass all functions of a trail to a CRO, the sponsor will remain responsible for the integrity of the results and performance of the research.

What Services do Contract Research Organizations Provide?

As mentioned, CROs are an increasingly fundamental part of the medical research sector and are often given the reigns to freely direct clinical trials. Leading CROs have a comprehensive list of services they provide, including:

·         Medicine coding

·         Disease coding

·         Data entry

·         Project management

·         Database design

·         Clinical trial data handling

·         Quality control

·         Statistical analysis

·         Final study results in a report

It’s not just the pharmaceutical industry that has adopted contract research organizations, although the sector accounts for over 50% of all CRO outsourcing. Other industries that have embraced CROs are biotech and the medical device market.

What’s interesting about the emergence of CRO contracting is how quickly it has become popular. It’s amazing to think that 10 years ago the CRO sector was only starting. Since then, it has become a significant driver behind clinical research and been pivotal in numerous advancements.

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