Improving patient outcomes through better project management of clinical trials

One of the success stories of the pandemic has been how quickly vaccines for the virus were developed and trialled. Unfortunately, the story of the COVID-19 vaccine is not replicated in all cases where new drugs are developed. People who desperately need new drugs are waiting longer than they need and, as delays cost money, added costs are ultimately reflected in the price of the product.   

One of the bottlenecks is in the project management of the clinical trials that are legally required before new drugs are passed safe to use. An estimated £15bn is wasted each year through poor project management.

A model by LJMU Business School re-engineers the relationship between pharmaceutical companies and trials operator, ensuring greater communication and common purpose. Tested through industry forums and training programmes run by professional bodies, the CURED framework enables better project management practices in Contract, Understanding, Resources, Education and Delegation. One Clinical Research Organisation reported a time saving of 10 days, which equates to between £6 - £70m over the lifetime of a patented drug. The work is influencing policy, with the oldest professional body in this field, the Institute of Clinical Research, sponsoring a Code of Practice for managing relational risk in clinical trial projects that is based on CURED.


Professor David Bryde