Examination of Clinical Trial Costs and Barriers for Drug Development. E.3.4 Increasing Competition for Qualified Investigators and Sites


  • According to some, there is a shortage of biostatisticians and informaticists across academic medicine, industry, and government; others say researchers exist but are difficult to find, often due to competition. There is more widespread agreement that there is a shortage of investigators who can enroll high-quality patients. There is also competition for qualified sites, especially in popular therapeutic areas.
  • The rate of attrition among U.S. investigators is increasing.
  • The clinical investigator career track is unattractive to researchers.
  • It is difficult for new sites to attract business, as sponsors tend to use clinical research organizations (CROs) they know.
  • For specialized areas such as anti-fungals, sponsors may have a very small number of qualified investigators to choose from.


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