Community Hospitals Reposition Themselves with Clinical Trials: Innovative, Progressive Care Is a Competitive Differentiator
by Sheryl S. Jackson
Twenty years ago, industry-sponsored clinical trials were conducted through academic medical centers. As pharmaceutical, device, and biotech companies pushed to get products through testing phases and onto the market, the value of opening trial participation to physicians at community hospitals became clear.
“Today, nearly 70 percent of pharmaceutical- and device-sponsored clinical trials are conducted at community health care settings,” says Shirley Trainor-Thomas, senior vice president of business development for GuideStar, a clinical trials management services company headquartered in Deerfield, IL. Moving clinical trials to community hospitals offers those pharmaceutical and device trial sponsors an opportunity to tap into a larger patient base because physicians are seeing patients five days each week as opposed to the two days an academic faculty member spends in a clinic. In addition, patients are more representative of those found in communities. “Also, community hospitals don’t have the bureaucratic layers of an academic facility, so decisions to offer a trial can be made more quickly and trials can be initiated [faster], sometimes in eight weeks versus four months,” Trainor-Thomas adds.
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