Wednesday, 12 October 2011 02:29

Investment surge in electronic data systems

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Asia Pacific demand for electronic data systems by the pharmaceutical industry is set to increase significantly now that companies in the sector have recovered after weathering the impact on their businesses from the global recession.


After being hampered by the recession, analysts' Ovum say the pharmaceutical companies will drive greater uptake of EDC solutions, and it predicts strong demand in the APAC region as it continues to host an ever increasing share of multinational clinical trials.

According to Ovum practice leader, Nicole Engelbert, pharmaceutical companies are increasing the number of trials conducted in the region partly due to economic factors but also because of specific regulatory requirements tying the commercialisation of novel drugs to domestic clinical trials.

"The public are increasingly questioning the safety of new drugs, driving more thorough clinical trials, which in turn is escalating the demand for solutions to manage the process more effectively and efficiently,' Engelbert says.

'Electronic data capture (EDC) systems are crucial to managing this data efficiently, but uptake has remained low, after being hampered by the recession. However, this is changing and companies are back on track and are once again eager to implement EDC systems. We therefore expect a spike in investment in new systems over the next couple of years.'

Ovum's report provides life sciences companies with analysis of the EDC vendors it recommends they should consider, and the analyst firm says that overall, the solutions that are available today are a vast improvement on systems offered in the past, which it were often poorly designed.

'The key to a good solution is that it is a web-based or software-as-a-service offering that takes into consideration clinical research workflows, using intuitive interfaces and the most up-to-date technology,' Engelbert says.

'While many EDC solutions have evolved to become more user-friendly, many vendors are selling a technology that is old and no longer sustainable. While vendors in this evaluation generally scored highly for usability and flexibility, they need to continue to improve the interfaces of their systems.'

The report also notes that as the e-clinical technology market matures, a good EDC system will be only one part of a wider, connected, e-clinical platform, rather than a stand-alone solution.

'This will allow solutions to share data seamlessly and reduce redundancy in data, decreasing some of the inaccuracies caused by inputting the same data in multiple systems,' Engelbert concludes.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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