The last 17 years have seen some major changes in clinical trials, and this article aims to highlight some of the most important and notable. From increased costs in some areas to the huge impact of wearable technology, some aspects of clinical trials have been completely revolutionised in the 2000s so far.
The Wearable Technology Revolution
The incredible growth in wearable technology has had a huge impact on all kinds of clinical trials. Apple recently launched new software that allows iPhone owners to take part in clinical trials – something that opens up the scope of trials beyond anything that would have been possible just a few years ago. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said at the launch of the software that the company has always wanted to have the greatest impact it could on people’s health. The revolutionary new apps make it possible for researchers to conduct huge studies on conditions and diseases such as asthma, Parkinson’s disease, breast cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The iPhone is capable of measuring – particularly in the case of users with Parkinson’s disease – hand tremors, variations in the vocal cords and even balance and gait as the user walks.
According to Apple, the software aims to empower medical professionals, such as researchers and doctors, and the wearers themselves.
Drug Development Costs Have Gone Up
Forbes reported in 2013 that the average cost of researching, developing and creating a brand new blockbuster drug had reached $5 billion. Many in the industry believed this figure to be unsustainable, but the cost has continued to rise and shows no sign of falling any time soon. Trials have become more complex in many cases, and many trials are now much larger than they would have been in the past. Firms working with researchers on paid research studies, such as Trials4us, can help firms keep costs down.
Many Mergers and Acquisitions Have Taken Place
There has been a notable increase in major mergers and acquisitions in the 2000s so far. Large-scale mergers can cause disruption in R&D of the affected firms, often meaning delays in development departments in particular. The financial appeal to big firms of such mergers, however, means this trend is unlikely to be reversed any time soon, especially since they often involve large windfalls for shareholders.