Change is (Still) in the Air

Clinical Researcher—January 2019 (Volume 33, Issue 1)


John P. Neal, CRCP



As the clinical research industry continues to change quickly, I am fortunate to take the reins as Chair of the Association Board of Trustees for ACRP this month, following what was a successful year of firsts for ACRP in 2018.

As I had predicted at the ACRP 2016 Meeting & Expo, and subsequently in a series of blog postings titled “Change is in the Air,” we are experiencing consolidation of companies across the spectrum (sponsors, contract research organizations, institutional review boards, and sites) at record rates. Concurrent with that, under the leadership of U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, a record number of drugs and devices were approved in 2018, bringing new hope to millions of people as these new therapies come to market. It is an exciting time to be involved in clinical research, while at the same time being challenged with the rate of change.

What Has Been…

In keeping up with ACRP’s mission to Promote Excellence in Clinical Research and to be the leader in defining the competencies, training, education, and certification options for our industry now and into the future, your Association successfully launched several programs in 2018 and expanded others, including:

  • In August 2018, ACRP unveiled the Partners in Workforce Advancement initiative, which is designed to raise awareness of clinical research as a career option and grow the workforce.

What’s to Come…

The year ahead will be equally exciting. One of ACRP’s goals for 2019 is to bring together—via conferences, educational webinars, training seminars, and publications—sponsors, resource providers, and sites in order to raise the quality of clinical trials. ACRP 2019, taking place in Nashville, Tenn. this April, affords clinical research professionals in all disciplines the opportunity to stay up to date, expand their knowledge, and network with their peers from around the globe.

Additionally, in 2019 the WISC and ACRP will publish competency standards for principal investigators—a first for the industry. Through a variety of industry partnerships throughout 2019, ACRP will launch several additional initiatives, so stay tuned. I expect 2019 to be yet another successful year of firsts for ACRP.

I hope to see you in Nashville this April.

John P. Neal, CRCP, is Founder and Chairman of PCRS Network, LLC, and the 2019 Chair of the Association Board of Trustees for ACRP.