DEVELOPING NEW PATHWAYS FOR CLINICAL RESEARCH THROUGH THE CHANGING ENVIRONMENT OF 21ST CENTURY HEALTHCARE
The increasingly high costs of performing clinical research through the established “university-academic” model have become increasingly recognized. Most specifically, in the area of federal and other foundation-sponsored “granted” trials, the gap between the “real costs” of research and the actual dollars “granted” to perform such trials are becoming increasingly disparate. Therefore, the ability of research centers, especially newer centers, to significantly enter and compete in the research arena is becoming more and more difficult. Even longstanding university-academic centers are finding it harder and harder to cover the full costs of financing such research under this system. The evolving model of industry-sponsored, pay-for-performance clinical trials can offer potential solutions for entry into and support of clinical research structures without the extensive overhead and indirect costs usually associated with “granted” trials. This model also allows nonacademic hospitals an opportunity to enter into the clinical research marketplace and may additionally serve, in an era of increasingly RVU-driven clinical practice environments, as an alternative recruitment and entry point for the expansion and encouragement of a cadre of new “physician-scientists with a medical degree,” a group that the NIH has defined as an “endangered species.”
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