What do you expect from a Clinical Trial Supply Optimization solution?

Unlike a simple forecasting tool, where the expectation is to have an IMP packaging release plan to cover the average demand, you usually start working with a supply optimization software solution to help you to:

  • reduce the trial supply costs
  • minimize drug waste
  • mitigate risk.

Yes, using a clinical trial supply optimization software allows you to achieve all of the above but there are also some unexpected, surprising benefits that have been reported back by our clients and that we would like to share with you.


Top surprising benefits

#1: It’s not just about cost savings.

While using N-SIDE Supply Optimization solution, CT-FAST, will on average reduce trial supply costs by at least 20%, our clients tell us that they notice a drop in stress among the clinical trial supply managers. This is reportedly thanks to having a robust supply strategy which optimizes not only cost, but also pinpoints how much risk could be involved in the strategy, and when and where that risk would happen. Having this information in hand together with monitoring dashboards allows our clients to have increased control and switch out of firefighting mode.


#2: Optimization results go beyond IMP supply plans

While some clients begin by asking for an optimized planning of their IMP packaging releases, N-SIDE Supply Optimization solution, CT-FAST, provide an overall supply strategy and all of the details for its implementation. Concretely, this means that in addition to the IMP planning, you will also have in hand the specific set-up for your IRT system and the strategy for resupplying your local depots. Further, optimization results provide all of the supporting details such as the demand forecasting, average monthly site shipments, and site inventory levels that result from the supply strategy. This reduces the overall risk of managing the trial supplies as CT-FAST harmonizes the production plan with the impact of the IRT settings and quantities needed for local depot replenishment.

#3: Optimization helps planning on a portfolio level

Thanks to having optimization results for individual trials, metrics such as overage, risk, site shipments and budget, for example, can be aggregated by program and then across the entire trial portfolio. Having the overall clinical supplies budget broken down by cost category allows program managers to assess feasibility of future spending. Having the global view on the number of site shipments leaving a specific local depot per month helps plan workforce needs in advance.


#4: Process improvement happens thanks to clinical trial supply optimization

Different internal process improvements have also stemmed from implementing clinical supply optimization. One type of improvement reported back to us is the standardization of the clinical trial supply forecast process across the CTS department. Having one approach for gathering assumptions and one solution for creating forecasts facilitates this change. Other improvements include challenging the use of rules of thumb for certain IRT parameters or overage levels and driving change in different process lead times and constraints using optimization results.


#5: It’s not only the Clinical Trial Supplies group who benefits. 

Implementing clinical trial supply optimization increases cross department collaboration and also allows teams to assess their decisions on site and patient-centricity of their plans.

With N-SIDE solution, CT-FAST, many different scenarios can be tested in advance of making final decisions about the trial design. By starting the collaboration early, and optimizing during protocol design, different teams can learn the impact of their decisions on the study parameters such as cost, risk and overage. For example, being able to compare the impact of a kit design decision, whether to include 3, 4 or 5 doses per kit, enabled the CTS team, clinical team and packaging team to collaborate on finding the best solution based on the specificities on the trial while keeping the patient experience in mind.

Beyond cross department collaboration, CT-FAST can also help in decision making that will have an effect on site and patient-centricity. For example, different trial supply strategies will result in different number of site shipments and inventories. Optimization results forecast these measures and allow decisions to be taken so that outcomes will be manageable by the site. Additionally, questions such as changes in number and size of kits dispensed to the patient per visit and how often the patient will need to travel to the site can be investigated so that teams can select feasible strategies that help maintain patient-centricity of the trial design.


Supply Optimization goes beyond optimizing supplies

When deciding to start using clinical trial supply optimization, it is important to assess the types of results you can expect. Using a software such as N-SIDE solution,CT-FAST, which is based on state of the art advanced analytics permits accurate modeling all of the trial complexity and investigating many different What-If scenarios. Working with optimization results have helped our clients to shift out of firefighting mode and to start to collaborate earlier with other teams using quantified results.

Contact us today for a demo so you can discover the full range of benefits of using clinical trial optimization.

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