Investigator‐initiated trials run by clinical trial networks provide net economic benefits to health systems
Delivery of optimal health care relies on evidence from randomised clinical trials, among other factors, to inform best practice. While the generation of such evidence requires resources, both national and international assessments of health and economic benefits resulting from medical research indicate large returns on investment.1,2,3 In Australia, during the decade 2006–2015, more than 10 000 clinical trials were conducted through Australian clinical trials networks (CTNs), including more than 5 million participants, ranking Australia in the top tier of clinical trial activity.4 Industry‐funded clinical trials accounted for an estimated $930 million of the total $1.1 billion spent annually on clinical trials, with National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding accounting for about $164 million annually.4 While the proportion of funding for non‐industry‐sponsored investigator‐initiated clinical trials (IITs) is relatively small, these studies account for more than half of Australia’s clinical trial activity.4 This study funding balance is similar to what is reported elsewhere.5
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