Non-profits such as Research, Patient Advocacy Groups, Charitable Bodies and Academic Institutions play a vital role in global clinical research and contribute significantly to advancing medical knowledge and improving patient care.
From research across the COG event series, some key reasons these organisations are important:
Academic Institutions are a hub for experienced researchers and scientists who are knowledgeable and skilled in conducting clinical research. They have the expertise to design robust research studies, analyse data, and interpret results accurately. Trial sponsors often collaborate with universities to, amongst other benefits, utilise the knowledge and skill set of researchers and scientists.
Charitable Bodies, Governmental Departments and Patient Advocacy Groups frequently provide funding for clinical research projects. Many of the larger organisations have a dedicated grants & partnerships funding team to support commercial and academic research. This financial support can be crucial for conducting studies that might not otherwise receive funding from commercial sources – this is especially the case for Rare/ Orphan Disease studies.
Most non-profit organisations are typically free from bias and conflicts of interest. This independence allows researchers to focus on the science and pursue studies that may not align with commercial interests. Academic institutions typically prioritise the pursuit of knowledge and the public good, which contributes to the credibility and integrity of clinical research.
Non-Profit Research, Sites/ Hospitals and Academic Institutions often have access to diverse patient populations and established clinical networks. This enables them to recruit participants for clinical trials more effectively, ensuring a broad representation of individuals and thus meeting regulatory requirements. Non-profits are often seen as trustworthy sources and can help break down the misperceptions of clinical trials.
Typically, these institutions encourage collaboration among researchers, clinicians, and other stakeholders. This is done through sharing the study findings at conferences, publications, and academic networks, enabling the dissemination of research findings and fostering a collaborative environment that accelerates overall scientific progress.
On The Flip Side….
It would be remise of me to publish this without mentioning the benefits commercial trial sponsors bring to the non-profits they work with. Pharmaceutical and Biotech companies spend millions of dollars annually on clinical research with this going to funding study sites, patient recruitment, and clinical operations – amongst other things. Trial sponsors will often fund patient advocacy groups to review and re-write their literature to ensure it is understandable and enticing to the patient, for example. Another example being the huge financial benefit felt by the United Kingdom’s NHS through running clinical studies across their network of hospitals.