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Our guest blogger for this series is Stuart Thiede –  President of DrugDev’s Payment Division.  Stuart brings over 35 years of experience working for companies that bring technology solutions to their clients including over 7 years of site payments expertise. He is responsible for leading DrugDev’s highly skilled and experienced professionals who deliver investigator grant payment services to Clinical Trial Sponsors and CROs.

Investigator site payments are gradually becoming a more visible component of clinical trial activities.  While payments aren’t a new part of the process, only recently have sites begun to express their displeasure with the current process.  For most sites late payments, inaccurate amounts, and poor visibility were simply part of the cost of doing clinical trials, but the tide is changing and sites can’t and won’t tolerate this any longer.  As sites have become increasingly vocal with their concerns, Sponsors and CRO’s have no choice but to listen or potentially jeopardize their clinical trials.

While a number of solution providers have popped up and attempted to disrupt the industry, DrugDev has remained the industry leader and trusted expert when it comes to investigator site payments.  With over 10 years’ experience in processing, executing, and making site payments we have gathered a number of Site Payment Secrets that every Sponsor, CRO, and site has to consider when making payments or sourcing a payments solution.

This article is the first article in a series of five that will discuss investigator site payment secrets that DrugDev has uncovered over its multiple years of payment execution.  While each post will be dedicated to a different topic it is important to remember that each of these secrets is only a single piece of the solution.


accounting using calculator, computer, paper

The word ‘payments’ can be incredibly deceptive…it is simple and infers that funds are moved from one account to another for goods or services that are provided.  Payments from a clinical trial perspective require much more than the simple transfer of funds. To effectively meet the current market needs, investigator site payments must not only execute the transfer of funds for site services but also:

  • Ensure payments are completed in a timely fashion
  • Enable financial transparency through comprehensive reports and metrics
  • Manage cash flow funding models
  • Help drive site satisfaction

Payments teams are required to provide timely payments in a transparent fashion to better support the needs of both their clinical trial sites and investigators (we talked about site payment processes and systems in Clinical Leader earlier this year).  On top of this, more and more Sponsors are insisting on increased financial transparency through enhanced reporting and forecasting. Investigator grant spend is among the top expenses in clinical trials, yet the ability for Sponsors to properly track, analyze, and forecast this spend has been severely limited.

Additionally, Sponsors require efficient cash flow funding models, robust support of HCP compliance reporting, and most importantly, capabilities that enhance the site experience and drive site satisfaction.   All of this represents a significant increase in investigator site payment requirements than simply transferring funds from one account to another.

Combine this with the need for detailed reports and metrics on payment activity, payment frequency, available funds, aggregate spend and many other metrics and you have a situation where your payments team is responsible for much more than just a financial process.

Organizations must adequately staff their teams with the appropriate skill sets, ensure the appropriate expectations are set, and remember that the first secret to successful investigator site payments is understanding that payments are much more than just moving money.

Be on the lookout for our next post that will discuss Secret #2.  Here’s a hint, it has to do with one of the largest expenses associated with a clinical trial.

To obtain a free, no-obligation payments assessment for your organization, visit:

If you would like more details on this topic or to learn more about DrugDev, please contact us to start a discussion.