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Improve your Clinical Supply Chain Management Using IRT

Why should I use an IRT?

Replacing manual supply chain management with an IRT system has been proven to benefit patients, the sites they report to as well as clinical teams.

At the center of every clinical trial is a patient waiting to be dosed. Using an IRT to manage clinical supplies ensures success in getting the correct dose of the appropriate treatment to patients on time. IRT systems can be employed to project as far out as needed to meet the supply needs of each trial schedule. This ensures continuity in patient dosing and eliminates concerns for sites stocking out of IP. In addition, using a validated and automated system to project and orchestrate supply chain management in a clinical trial will prevent oversupplying of sites and potential related drug wastage/cost.

How does data help drive IRT supply chain functionality?

Metadata used to drive IRT supply chain functionality can be used to resolve challenges unique to sites and to the study itself. Sites may find themselves challenged with the ability to store a large amount of investigational product. IRT resupply approaches can be altered to send less IP more often so that sites are never overwhelmed with a large quantity to store. Likewise, the same resupply approaches can be edited to accommodate sites that may enroll at a fast rate. In those instances, larger quantities can be sent.  Either way, using an IRT takes the manual monitoring of patients and sites out of the equation.

How does IRT help control costs?

Developing and maintaining an accurate forecast of product demand over the course of a clinical trial is essential to controlling costs. The IRT provides Supply Chain Managers with real-time updates of what is happening with patient enrollment and product inventory throughout the supply chain. This aids with budget preparation, prevents wastage that comes from stockpiling supplies, avoids the risk of stock-outs, and reduces emergency measures needed to replace expiring drugs.

An IRT can also keep track of product expiry dates and ensure there is sufficient time for the patient to take the medication before it expires. It can also send alerts to study managers if expirations are looming. This notification is particularly important with drugs that must be actively managed because they have short shelf lives. Perhaps most important of all, an IRT gives supply managers a global view of available supplies at main depot, secondary depot and site level. They can therefore adjust their inventory and distribution tactics to meet current trial conditions.

How are depots affected by an IRT?

Depots benefit from IRT supply chain management as well. An IRT can generate customized drug order forms specifically highlighting temperature needs to depot employees.  Further, utilization of an IRT can safeguard the generation of drug order forms to specific and predefined recipients at a depot prior to depot cutoff times.

What are other advantages of using an IRT for Supply Management?

IRT systems can assist clinical teams in tackling more complex scenarios such as titrations, weight based dosing, and cross over treatments in a seamless fashion. Allowing IRT systems to calculate and forecast for these scenarios results in dosing subjects on time all the time while eliminating waste and reducing costs.

Another significant benefit of the IRT that is often overlooked, is facilitating the task of drug accountability, returns, and destruction. This process is still often done manually in many studies, which is tedious and time consuming.  By switching the process electronically via the IRT, sites can save time, improve efficiency, and reduce data entry error.

In summary, IRT supply management capabilities ensure accurate and timely dispensation to subjects, supply optimization at the site and study levels while providing real time data to supply teams and minimizing costs.

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