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Time Management in Clinical Trial Supplies

May 18, 2020

As those in the clinical trial arena know, the supply chain department is often charged with the difficult task of preparing clinical sites for their first patients under a very aggressive timeline. This process involves drug sourcing, label creation, packaging, shipping, and more.

Clinical supply personnel understands how vital it is to solve problems, track down essential medications and supplies, manage budgets, and maintain important partner relationships. These responsibilities, if ignored, could threaten the success of the clinical studies that pharma or biotech companies rely on.

One such responsibility that requires a significant amount of time is the sourcing and management of comparator/supportive medications and supplies.

Comparator and supportive medications are a necessity at each clinical site but may differ from site to site, depending on the health of the clinical trial patients. Clinical supply managers are accountable for finding study medications and ensuring their delivery to each study site, often handling multiple sites at a time. They must continuously monitor supply levels to ensure materials are fully stocked, stored appropriately, and distributed before expiration. In addition, they must dispose of any unused product after the trial’s completion. The clinical supply manager fills a crucial role before, during, and after the trial.

In a typical scenario, it could take between four and nine months of planning before the first comparator or supportive medication arrives at the clinical site. That also equates to a similar delay before the first patient in.

Perhaps the biggest challenge of all, though, is this: companies don’t allocate enough people to comfortably manage these tasks. The supply team, when there is one, is overworked and understaffed.

Expectations for these individuals are high, as they are also charged with curating business relationships, attending internal meetings, managing the budget, compiling data, and reporting results.

Do enough hours in the week even exist for someone to successfully meet these expectations? The short answer is no, which explains why clinical supply managers are chronically stressed, tired, and frustrated.

Mercalis (formerly TrialCard) has a proven solution to address the problem of too many tasks and not enough hours—it’s called the RxStudy Card™. The RxStudy Card™ consolidates sourcing, labeling, shipping, and storage into a single card held by the clinical trial participant. The participant uses the card just like an insurance card, often with no out-of-pocket fee, to acquire necessary medications and supplies from a trusted neighborhood or online retail pharmacy. Clinical trial patients receive the comparator or supportive medications they need, and clinical supply managers are free to focus on other strategic business obligations or the next study.

RxStudy Card’s™ technology offers an intelligent real-time reporting and payment system that provides secure pharmacy transaction data like real-time consumption, budget analysis, trends, and inventory reporting. As a result, trial managers know what commercially-available medications and supplies patients are accessing and how often.

In nearly 200 studies using the RxStudy Card™, clinical supply teams reclaimed an average of 20 to 25 hours per week to use on other departmental or corporate projects. No more scouring sources, submitting RFQs, or designing labels.

Connect with a member of our team to review case studies to better understand how you can utilize the RxStudy Card™ to save time, money, and resources on your next trial study.

Maximize value across the product and patient journeys. Find out how.