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Clinical Research Organization (CRO): How they work?


Clinical research organizations (CRO) range from small niche specialty groups to large international full-scale organizations. These organizations can offer their clients and customers the experience of moving a new drug or device from its conception to FDA approval without any staff maintenance by the drug sponsors for these services.
Editor: Jannat Shaikh Last Updated: 18-Jun-2021


A clinical research organization (CRO) is often called a contract research organization (CRO). CRO is a service organization that provides support to pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the form of outsourced clinical research courses and services for both medical devices and drugs.

The main functions required to conduct clinical researches, which are usually departments of the clinical research organization, are:

  • The function of medical operations: People working in this area are given clinical research training from various clinical research institutes. This sector includes medically qualified people who are capable of constructing and designing clinical studies, clinical trials, and their protocols to provide medical-related input throughout the study. This includes roles like medical monitor, clinical research physician, advisors, etc.
  • Clinical operations: This is the most organized and the largest team in any contract research organization. It consists of medical research associates, clinical trial assistants, managers, etc. This is the team of the CRO, which selects the clinical trial sites and locations, assists the studies, monitors the studies, etc.
  • Data Management: This team helps in managing and designing various tools and databases. This is done in order to collect data from the trial. They help in ensuring that the data collected from the trials is accurate and is suitable for analysis. To keep track and organized, this team uses sophisticated software and modern technologies.
  • Biostatistics: This team plays a major role in the outcome of the trial. They help in analyzing the study data and figuring out whether the study has yielded positive results or negative results while adhering strictly to all the protocols. They also generate statistical tables, figures, and graphs with their interpretations which are all then passed down to the medical writers to compile into reports.
  • Writing team: these writers compile all the data into medical reports that can easily be understood by the public as well. They also manage the study protocols, study analysis reports, promotional material, etc.
  • Quality assurance: The audits to ensure that the guidelines, standard operations, and regulation procedures are followed throughout are assessed by these trained professionals. This department is entirely dedicated to ensuring the quality of the product.
  • Human Resources: Every clinical research organization has a dedicated human resource organization that is responsible for hiring trained professionals for various job roles and positions within the organization. They have to maintain a certain level of talent in the talent pool available.
  • IT team: This is generally considered to be the support staff of the Clinical research organizations. They take care of all the IT-related needs like maintenance and purchases of laptops, desktops, telephones, software, etc.
  • The finance team: All the monetary controls and the finance part, including the administration of the whole CRO, is managed by this department of the CRO.
  • Training and Development: This is a dedicated department to training and developing in the CRO. It focuses on the professional development of all its employees and conducts routine training to make sure that their staffs remain up to date with all the developments in technology. It acts as a clinical research institute that provides the best clinical research courses and clinical research training.