Trial sites may go as long as five months without being paid for their work on industry-sponsored clinical trials, according to a recent article in Bio-IT World. Just over half of sponsor payments were still being made on a quarterly basis as of 2010. The good news is that monthly payment terms seem to be increasing as more sponsors and CROs come to understand the financial burdens quarterly terms impose on sites.
Late receipt of the sponsor’s proposed budget is another major hurdle during study startup. A site may be asked to go through the entire site initiation process before seeing a budget or contract. Negotiations can then add many months to the initiation timeline. If the trial ultimately does not move forward at the site, further negotiations may be required to secure payment for the work already done.
Sites that understand their own costs of doing business are better prepared to negotiate successfully with sponsors for reasonable budgets and payment terms. InfoEd’s Clinical Trials module can assist in this process by making cost information readily available to staff performing feasibility assessments.