Arena International Events Group, in collaboration with Sonoco Thermosafe and Berlinger & Co. AG, has released the results of their industry-wide survey entitled Assessing the Current and Future State of Clinical Trial Supplies. The survey was co-developed by an advisory panel of industry experts from clinical operations, clinical trial supply logistics and packaging, as well as bio-pharma manufacturing and supply chain organizations.

Conducted between March and December 2016, the survey shines a spotlight on forward looking trends in areas that influence the clinical trial supply chain – including the adoption of technology, scope and pace of supply chain innovation, and logistics/distribution strategy.

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A total of 230 healthcare industry professionals participated in the survey, representing organizations from over 20 countries and clinical supply operations across five continents.

As the industry moves forward, understanding current and emerging trends is important as the CTS landscape continues to evolve.

“The insights gained through this survey will hopefully help companies baseline their current strategies in clinical trial logistics, supply chain and technology, and guide future investments,” said Russell Grissett, vice president and general manager of Sonoco ThermoSafe.

The survey itself revealed several key findings, which industry professionals may find especially revealing. Below are some headlining statistics for readers to ponder:

  • 53 percent of respondents from the sponsor organizations reported that they outsource more than 61 percent of their clinical trial supply budget.
  • Close and reliable partnerships between clinical and operational teams were cited as the most important factor in successful supply forecasting: relationships with CRO – 87 percent, distributor/packaging supplier – 85 percent followed by the manufacturer – 74 percent.
  • 24 percent of the respondents currently use direct-to-patient (DTP) distribution model. One-third of those who don’t use DTP today, plan to adopt this distribution model in the next 12-18 months driven by the desire to optimize cost of recruitment, patient interactions and leverage efficiencies in data collection/visibility using technology and specialist service providers.
  • 69 percent of respondents anticipate investment in mobile technology in the next two years. Lack of a user friendly interface and data security concerns topped the list of factors limiting their company’s investment in mobile technology platforms.
  • Respondents found logistics between depot and clinical sites most challenging in South America, Central America and Asia. Further, the survey indicates widespread use of clinical trial supply partners, with 86 percent of respondents using an import broker to overcome regional challenges such as compliance with import/export regulations for shipments of clinical trial supplies.

Detailed findings will be presented at The 6th Annual Clinical Trial Supply New England conference in Boston, MA on March 8 and at subsequent Arena International Group events across North America, Europe and Asia throughout 2017. Survey results are available in the form of a detailed report, which can be downloaded at: