A company is looking to build a partnership with a CRO for the development of a new drug. This decision is a complex one and can play a significant role in the success for the company. What are the top 3 considerations that the company must make in their selection process to ensure that they will make the right choice?
Choosing a CRO depends in large part on the goals of the project to be placed. Outsourcing a full clinical development program requires some different considerations from outsourcing a small test method project, for instance. Nonetheless, there are universal considerations. Selection matrices might include product specific experience, quality record, cost structures, and mere availability.
Aside from cost (pricing) structures, most considerations boil down to the fundamental questions: 1) Can they do it, and 2) Will they do it?
It is important to conduct sufficient due diligence to answer these questions. Reviewing previously performed, redacted reports, gathering references, visiting the site, and meeting the people who will be doing the work are reasonable steps in a selection process to determine competence – can they do it.
Meeting the people may be the single best means to determine the second factor – will they do it. There are countless competent organizations and people in the service industry. Identifying the right individuals within an organization and interacting with them on a personal level builds comfort and trust. Are the individuals within the organization trustworthy? Is the organization itself trustworthy? Do those who will be contributing to your project demonstrate suitable competence? Can you communicate with them effectively? Are they motivated to contribute to your successful project?
Solid answers to these questions will go a long way toward the outcome of a successful CRO selection.