Regional Hospital Consortiums Hope to Compete for Clinical Trials

In a bid to attract research funding while reducing administrative costs, small hospitals across the U.S. are joining together to create clinical trial consortiums. These consortiums – including North Dakota-based Sanford Health, a group led by Geisinger Health in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and a partnership of two cancer centers in Ohio – hope that the arrangements will allow smaller hospitals to attract clinical trial sponsors, while avoiding acquisition by a larger provider.

“As a group we’re stronger than just one,” James Brazeal, Geisinger’s chief administrative research officer, told Bloomberg. “We’re able to leverage that so we have more of an ability to participate, so that we can attract some of the trials that we couldn’t attract before.”

Smaller hospitals hope that consortiums will provide several advantages over larger urban hospitals, which for years have attracted the majority of trial sponsors. Rather than forcing each hospital to create its own review board to meet federal requirements, for example, consortiums can create one board to oversee all clinical trials for the group, reducing costs and administrative burdens.

Additionally, drug companies might prefer trials conducted in consortiums rather than single-site trials, according to Sanford Health Executive Vice President of Innovation and Research David Pearce, PhD. “No therapy will be approved if it’s just done at Johns Hopkins or just done at Sanford Health,” Dr. Pearce told Bloomberg. “You need to show it works at multiple sites.”

Source: Bloomberg, October 29, 2018.