Planning & Forecasting Considerations in Global Clinical Trial Supply

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As identified by Dr. Roberto Torres (1) in a recent article, a high level of potential drugs fail to reach the market during clinical trials – which can incur large financial losses. Alongside a lack of efficacy, safety or economics, both poor planning and a failure to adequately assess the market for planning purposes are marked as key potential drivers for drug development failure.
Often orchestrated on a global scale, clinical trials require the production and distribution of the investigational pharmaceuticals to thousands of participants over several years. Additionally, the ever-evolving country specific regulations can often force supply strategies to shift.
The supply required for these trials represents one of the biggest challenges to be navigated. The efficient management of clinical supply demands precise planning, forecasting and internal coordination. Conflicting time zones can often hinder fluid communication levels in an international clinical trial.
In the 2015 clinical trial supply report, Steve Jacobs of the Global Clinical Supplies Group noted: "Forecasting and planning have been the industry darlings for a few years now and with technology improving are taking center stage to increase clinical supply chain efficiency and cost savings."
Pharma IQ presents the results of its 2016 Clinical Trial Supply Report focused on the realms of planning and forecasting.