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Creating Partnerships: Aligning Vendor Support for Success in Clinical Research

In the latest installment of WCG’s podcast, WCG Talks Trials, Amy Thue, Associate Director of Project Management at WCG is joined by Russ Lampman, Associate Director of Global Trial Optimization at Merck, and Shelby Ward, Manager of Site Services at WCG, as they discuss the utilization of vendor support for success in clinical research.

Considering Vendor Support: What Is Required

There are pivotal considerations that underpin this decision-making process of utilizing vendor support for a clinical study. Most importantly, the sponsor, study sites, and the vendor must align trial priorities. These priorities must also align with the overarching strategic vision of the sponsor.

“[At WCG] the very core of our mission is to serve, and we do that in a very meaningful and intentional manner that is driven by purpose. Again, studies are complex in their own unique way and the need of each study is going to vary. In turn that is going to dictate the type of support that is really, truly needed for a study,” says Ward.

Vendor support is a partnership, not merely a transaction. Intentional and continual dialogue between sponsors and vendors is crucial. This ongoing collaboration ensures clarity on addressing the unique challenges inherent to the specific study.

Moreover, when selecting a vendor, emphasis on study goals and operational complexities is paramount. It is important to choose a vendor that provides purpose-driven solutions, aligning with sponsor objectives, site requirements, and participant needs equally.

Deploying Vendor Support Strategically: Where to Focus

In clinical research, it’s recognized that merely injecting resources into a study can exacerbate existing complexities. However, when executed effectively, the impact of vendor support can be transformative to a study.

Central to this effectiveness is understanding the primary recruitment drivers of a study. These include the protocol, inclusion and exclusion criteria, site selection, participating countries, timelines, and training structure. Understanding these drivers delineates the type of support required and where it should be directed. Not all sites necessitate identical levels or forms of support.

“Every study manager wants their study to get support and go as fast as possible, but there are reasons to prioritize certain studies. Some sites need assistance with recruitment, or assistance entering all the data that they are collecting so that they can focus on recruitment,’ stated Lampman.

Pinpointing areas where support is most critical not only sheds light on site challenges, but also provides transparency to both sponsors and vendors regarding avenues for enhancing efficiency and better focusing resources.

“[Sites should] focus on the patient care and let the vendor supplier focus on the data entry.” expresses Thue.

By nurturing collaborative partnerships between sponsors and vendors, administrative obstacles can be mitigated, empowering study sites to maneuver through complex trials more effectively and focus on what matters most, the patients.

To connect with a WCG Recruitment & Retention expert to discuss vendor support, click here.

To listen to the full WCG Talks Trials episode, click here.

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