Clinical research was once centered in the Academic Health Center (AHC) community where academic physicians published findings (publish or perish) in medical journals.

A renaissance in biomedical sciences and the pharmaceutical industry in the 80s accelerated product development and competition among drug and device manufacturers, which created pressure on the AHCs to conduct more research in less time.

AHCs - which performed about 75% of clinical testing in 1991 - could not satisfy the quickening pace of the industry. By 1997, AHC market share was less than 40%, replaced by a responsive market-driven research industry working faster and more efficiently to meet demand. These business-driven organizations have continued as the dominant players in clinical research.

Sponsors of clinical trials seek a balance of academicians, private practitioners, and hospital-based researchers to conduct their clinical studies. Hospitals - with their captive patient population for both outpatient and inpatient studies - embody the ideal environment for the successful conduct of clinical trials. However, fewer than 20% of hospitals operate centralized clinical research programs designed specifically to attract industry-sponsored clinical studies.

It is possible to claim a position in this prestigious market by instituting a clinical research program that complements your Hospital Mission. The results are beneficial to all participants: conducting clinical trials enhances a hospitals scientific influence and prestige, reaffirms a commitment to patient advocacy, and provides an entirely new revenue source to successful institutions.