Clinical trials are long-term, highly regulated events that require countless resources. A single trial involves dozens of experts, medical supplies, recruitment efforts, and other costly line items. With this in mind, you might find yourself wondering, “Who pays for clinical trials? Where does the money come from, and how much do clinical trials cost?” Funding for clinical trials can come from a variety of sources including government agencies, nonprofit foundations, pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, and even private individuals.
Funding for Clinical Trials
One recent study by a team including researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that clinical drug trials have a median cost of $19 million. Interestingly enough, the study suggests that these costs contribute very little to the overall costs of drug development, which are staggering in their own right. (That cost has been estimated at between $2 to $3 billion.) Of course, the cost of conducting a trial varies depending on the type of trial. The Johns Hopkins study found that trials that “test a drug’s ability to prevent a clinically meaningful outcome, such as a heart attack,” are much more expensive. These trials tend to have a median cost of about $65 million. Finally, the study found higher costs associated with trials comparing a new drug to an existing standard treatment, rather than a placebo.
With median costs reaching the millions and billions, clinical trials are shockingly costly endeavors. So, who funds these trials? The U.S. National Library of Medicine’s trial resource explains that clinical studies can be funded from a variety of sources. These sources include pharmaceutical companies, university medical centers, and nonprofit foundations. Other funding sources include government agencies – the National Institutes of Health or the U.S. Department of Defense, for example. Finally, individuals like doctors or private donors can sponsor clinical research. One recent example of a private donor: country superstar Dolly Parton contributed to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine development.
How does a clinical trial – a massive operation – receive regulated funding? That process depends on the type of trial, as well as the funding source. One mesothelioma resource offers mesothelioma-related trials as an excellent example. First, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation raises money through donation campaigns. The foundation then allocates the funds via a grant. Finally, a scientific advisory committee reviews the grant and approves it to propel early clinical research. Again, this process can vary dramatically; a private donor will have a different funding process than a pharmaceutical company, for example.
Funding for clinical trials is a complex, incredibly costly endeavor. Fortunately, clinical research organizations are highly diligent in their search for medical innovation. Regardless of the funding source, clinical research organizations have a responsibility to manage funds in a way that moves the organization toward a greater purpose: advancing medicine for all.
Have you ever thought about participating in a clinical trial? You could be a part of history! QPS Missouri is looking for new participants. Since opening its doors in 1994, QPS Missouri has conducted over 1,000 FDA-regulated studies, paying out over $35 million to local participants. Your local participation could have a global impact, as QPS is an international leader in contract research with facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia. Our mission is to accelerate the development of drugs worldwide by enabling breakthroughs in pharmaceutical innovation. This includes several pediatric studies across several age ranges. If you would like to join us in this crucial healthcare mission, consider applying for a clinical trial.
To get started, you simply need to fill out an online application. After that, within 48 business hours, a recruiting coordinator will contact you for your pre-screening assessment. To learn more, please visit the QPS Missouri website, review the study participation process, or check out our list of frequently asked questions.