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Keywords

clinical governance, clinical trials, cost savings, hospital administration, principal-agent theory, researcher

 

Authors

  1. Uecke, Oliver
  2. Reszka, Regina
  3. Linke, Joachim
  4. Steul, Martina
  5. Posselt, Thorsten

Abstract

Background: Clinical studies play a pivotal role in the development of new pharmaceutical drugs. Before newly developed active substances can be put on the market, the law requires that they be tested in a large number of clinical trials. The initiators of these trials are usually study groups (publicly funded trials) or the pharmaceutical industry, which often supplies the drugs for clinical research in hospitals. There is reason to believe that hospital administrators could make cost savings on drugs.

 

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to quantify drug cost savings in hospitals related to clinical trials and to examine the relationship between researchers and hospital administrators with respect to clinical trials.

 

Methodology/Approach: We analyzed 88 clinical trials in oncology including 29 researchers in 11 hospitals in Germany from 2002 through 2005. We also interviewed researchers and hospital administrators concerning their attitude toward these clinical trials. We propose that hospital administrators tend to focus on the economics of conducting clinical trials.

 

Findings: The results showed a drug cost saving potential of US $6.7 million ([Euro sign]5.1 million) in 11 hospitals from 2002 through 2005 and an actual cost saving of US $2.0 million ([Euro sign]1.5 million). The hospital administrators underestimated the difficulties that researchers experienced because of lack of personnel resources when conducting clinical trials.

 

Practice Implications: The hospital administrator has a financial incentive to provide internal conditions in the hospital that facilitate incentives for researchers to become involved in clinical trials. We suggest supporting researchers actively in research with additional human resources (study nurses, etc.). We propose that this would result in a higher number of patients taking part and in more clinical trials. Consequently, higher drug cost savings could also be realized.