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Evaluation of drug cost savings related to clinical trials from the perspective of a university hospital
  1. Quentin Perrier1,
  2. Mélanie Minoves2,
  3. Sophie Cerana3,
  4. Fabienne Reymond3,
  5. Camille Ducki4,
  6. Thomas Decaens4,
  7. Audrey Lehmann5,
  8. Pierrick Bedouch5
  1. 1Univ. Grenoble Alpes, LBFA, INSERM, U1055, Pôle Pharmacie, Grenoble Alpes University Hospital, Grenoble, France
  2. 2Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Hp2, INSERM, U1300, Pôle Pharmacie, Grenoble Alpes University Hospital, Grenoble, France
  3. 3Grenoble Alpes University, Grenoble Alpes University Hospital, Pôle Pharmacie, Grenoble, France
  4. 4Univ. Grenoble Alpes, IAB-INSERM U1209/ CNRS UMR 5309, Clinique Universitaire d’Hépato-gastroentérologie, Grenoble Alpes University Hospital, Grenoble, France
  5. 5Univ. Grenoble Alpes, TIMC, CNRS, UMR5525, Pôle Pharmacie, Grenoble Alpes University Hospital, Grenoble, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Audrey Lehmann, Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, TIMC (UMR5525), Grenoble Alpes University Hospital, Pôle Pharmacie, Grenoble, France; alehmann{at}


Objectives Clinical trials are an opportunity for patients to access innovative therapy, but patient inclusion in clinical trials can also result in cost savings for hospitals. Our objective was to evaluate the economic impact of clinical trials drug cost savings in a French academic institution from the perspectives of both the French Health Insurance (FHI) and hospitals.

Methods A retrospective, observational, cost saving analysis was performed on all the clinical trials initiated in our university hospital between 2015 and 2020. Only trials involving an investigational medicinal product were considered. Drug cost savings were defined as the best standard of care, defined in the protocol, whose cost was covered by a sponsor.

Results Of the 646 trials undertaken during the 6 years analysed, 21% (212/646) led to cost savings, mostly driven by the industrial sponsor (92%, €6 984 283/€7 591 612) for a total of €7 591 612 (91% from the FHI’s perspective (€6 959 115/€7 591 612)). Oncology trials generated 79.1% (€6 004 966/€7 591 612) of global cost savings, mostly driven by onco-haematology (33.1%, €1 983 146/€6 004 966), onco-pneumology (29.2%, €1 754 333/€6 004 966) and onco-dermatology (23.5%, €1 409 553/€6 004 966) followed by hepatogastroenterology trials (6.9%, €413 113/€6 004 966). Of the 162 drugs, the top 15 generated 75.3% (€5 715 479/€7 591 612) of savings and were grouped together: 12 antineoplastic agents (six per os and six intravenous) and three per os antiviral for hepatitis C.

Conclusions With ever-changing prices and new innovative treatments, such cost avoidance must be regularly evaluated. We provided objective evidence that clinical trials could achieve potential cost savings for the FHI and hospitals, in addition to the potential benefit to patients of having access to innovative investigational medicinal products.

  • clinical medicine
  • clinical trial
  • economics, pharmaceutical
  • evidence-based medicine
  • pharmacy service, hospital

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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