Growing study complexity is driving demand for CRAs

The demand for CRAs significantly outpaced supply over the past two decades, though this shortage has become more pronounced in recent years. In 2018, the industry had a global shortage of over 17,000 CRAs due to the rising demand for well-trained, experienced CRAs.

There are several reasons for this change.

  • As more complicated scientific assets and targeted therapies are developed, clinical trial data volume has risen in scale and complexity.
  • There has also been a significant increase in the number of sites and patients involved in clinical studies over the last three decades.
  • Advances in technology and digitisation have impacted the conduct of clinical trials, allowing for more rapid and effective collection of electronic data, often directly from patients.

These factors have all impacted the practical ways of how – and where – CRAs can perform their critical roles.

  • 200+

    remote hub CRAs globally
  • 12

    managers in EU, APAC and LATAM
  • 35+

    ongoing studies

Global monitoring coverage for greater efficiency

At ICON, we are addressing this challenge through use of our remote CRA hubs, to provide study sponsors with access to highly experienced and specialised CRAs in a cost-efficient way.

ICON has established CRA hubs in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. These highly cost-efficient locations are based on the availability of experienced CRAs and the accessibility of quality infrastructure to support a remote team.

Remote hub CRAs are assigned to projects and sites along with an onsite CRA. Together, they collaborate to perform all monitoring and site management activities required for the study. Hub CRAs are seasoned monitors with a background of on-site monitoring and PI interaction in their own countries, and often have  expertise in complex oncology studies.

The benefits of this model include:

  • Greater access to experienced CRAs with knowledge of advanced indications and the requirements of the resulting complex studies.
  • Extending monitoring times. With various regional hub locations, monitoring can occur in the same time zone as the site, or beyond the site’s standard working day.
  • Higher overall CRA job satisfaction. Hub CRAs work remotely, with no need for travel. For many, this leads to greater job satisfaction, which drives higher retention, and ultimately increased customer satisfaction.

As a result, sponsors and sites get access to the expertise they need, for extended times, and in an effective and cost-efficient way.

ICON has provided a full remote monitoring service in the following countries:

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • South Africa
  • Turkey