Trying Times Bring Changes for the Better

Clinical Researcher—January 2021 (Volume 35, Issue 1)


Jim Kremidas


We’ve just wrapped up the first track of our ACRP 2021 Virtual Conference, and I couldn’t be more excited about how it went. I hope you got a chance to attend. If you did, you heard some great sessions on topics ranging from decentralized trials to how the clinical research landscape has forever been changed due to COVID-19.

In these times of remote work, I think the virtual conference has helped to fill a void. Throughout the event, I was so glad to see how many attendees were asking questions of speakers, then chatting amongst themselves before and after sessions, and then visiting our virtual expo hall to talk with service providers and other experts.

No, it’s not quite the same as meeting face to face in Seattle or Nashville, but many of you told me how good it felt to be able to catch up with colleagues around the country—even if it was on a screen!

The theme of this month’s Clinical Researcher is “Changed for the Better,” and how to improve upon our current circumstances in the clinical trials arena came up often in terms of budgeting and billing during our virtual conference. I don’t have to tell you these have been challenging times for many, especially for sites with tight cash flow and precarious trials either on hold or facing other kinds of uncertainty, but changes being made to processes, procedures, and policies in response to such stresses are making life better for researchers and patients.

It occurred to me while watching one of the conference sessions about budgeting for a clinical trial that, at its best, ACRP can be a safe place for you to come with concerns, questions, and worries about the future of medical research. We aren’t soothsayers, but we are able to gather many of the most knowledgeable thought leaders across the entire trial spectrum. Together, our shared experiences can further raise the bar for clinical trial quality.

We have a number of webinars and other events lined up in the calendar already, with more to come. I invite you to join us online in May, when we continue the virtual conference with a focus on operational efficiencies. In September, we’ll regroup to look at new regulations affecting the clinical research enterprise.

The clinical trial workforce performed heroically in 2020, and the world is grateful for the work you’ve done developing vaccines in record time. As we move into a new year, I hope ACRP can continue to support your valiant efforts.

Jim Kremidas is Executive Director of ACRP.