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Economic evaluation of investigator-initiated clinical trials conducted by networks: final report

Medicine Medical technology Health Clinical trials

The cost of clinical trials investigating gaps in medical evidence is outweighed almost six to one by the savings that flow from the health improvements experienced by patients, and the direct savings to the health system and wider economy.

This report, by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA) analysed 25 Australian clinical trials initiated by clinicians. The report finds that if the results of the 25 trials were implemented in just two-thirds of the relevant groups of patients for one year, $1.4 billion would be saved through improvements in patient health outcomes, and a further $580 million in reductions in health costs.

The report finds the savings are equivalent to a benefit-to-cost ratio of 5.8:1 – meaning that for each $1 invested in clinician-driven clinical trials in Australia, benefits of $5.80 can be realised.

The report evaluated 25 clinical trials that produced evidence regarded as sufficiently scientifically rigorous and compelling to change clinical practice. These trials involved over 50,000 participants and were conducted by three Australian clinical trial networks in stroke, intensive care and maternal and perinatal care.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care developed the report in partnership with the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance and in association with health economic agency Quantium Health Outcomes (formerly Health Outcomes Australia).

The three Australian Clinical Trial Networks evaluated in the report were the Australasian Stroke Trials Network (ASTN), Interdisciplinary Maternal Perinatal Australasian Collaborative Trials (IMPACT) Network and the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group (ANZICS CTG).

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