As a distinguished physician and life science executive, Dr. Frisch leads our European-based medical and regulatory teams while providing expert guidance and advisory services to our clients worldwide.  This post is first in a series from Dr. Frisch on his perspective on the state of clinical trials in Europe and pan-European region.

The pan-European region has traditionally been a key player in global clinical research in terms of volume and efficiency. Eastern European countries are poised for significant growth in the number of trials initiated due to low cost advantages and the ease with which they can recruit from abundant patient populations.  However, in my experience, Central European countries should be doing more to help offset challenges often associated with the high cost of doing business in this region of the world.

Why has Central Europe been a traditionally expensive region to conduct global clinical trials?  In my experience, exceptionally high quality standards, which yield exceptionally high quality study data, come at a premium.  In this area of the world, we see strong competition among trial sponsors for patients, investigational sites, and experienced, quality personnel, all contributing to higher price levels.

What can we do to help control fluctuating costs?  While we cannot influence intense competition for patients, we can impact costs by innovating the conduct of trials themselves.  As personnel costs are a huge factor, we need to establish smart solutions to maximize the support of investigational sites.  By integrating next-generation technology and innovative IT solutions as part of our contract research services, optimizing trial processes, and using creative approaches to recruiting patients, we can create more efficiencies and better manage costs for regional trials.

While these are just a few general observations based on my experience, I do see tremendous business opportunity in this region.  While the costs may be higher than other global regions, there is still a very reasonable ratio between cost and overall trial performance.  With the technology and service offerings a company like Clinipace Worldwide has to offer, we can turn this region from being seen as an expensive place to do business, to being seen as a place ripe for expansion in clinical trial growth.