MORRISVILLE, N.C. – Drug trials are big business, and more of that business is being directed toward the use of electronic data capture.

In 2006, analyst firm IDC reported that $25.6 billion is expected to be spent on nearly 10,000 clinical trials. Those numbers are expected to increase to $32.1 billion and nearly 13,000 respectively by 2011.

In a report issued in September of last year, the analyst firm Life Science Insights reported that 18 percent of clinical trials were expected utilize electronic data capture, or EDC, in clinical trials. That percentage is expected to grow to 30 percent soon, according to a report from analyst firm IDC that etrials executives cited in an interview with WRAL Local Tech Wire.

“A sea change is occurring among trial sponsors,” said Judy Hanover, a senior research analyst at Life Science Insights in the 2005 report. “Pharma and biotech companies are increasingly making EDC-based trials a standard practice. They are reexamining the operating costs of trials and asking [contract research organizations] and other outsourcing providers to work with them to introduce technologies that will add efficiencies to trials.”

The benefits of utilizing EDC in clinical trials are numerous, according to another report compiled by Health Industry Insights and sponsored by Oracle. They include:

  • Reduction in time from last patient visit to database release
  • Reduction in the number of required queries
  • Efficiency gains from the reuse of forms
  • Reduction in site-monitoring costs
  • Reduction in project management costs
  • Reduction in time surrounding patient enrollment tracking