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Perspect Clin Res. 2018 Oct-Dec;9(4):179-183. doi: 10.4103/picr.PICR_106_18.

Investigator-initiated studies: Challenges and solutions.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.


Investigator-initiated studies (IISs) help by generating data on effectiveness and safety of a drug in the real-world setting and attempt to answer questions that clinicians face in their day-to-day practice. These are studies that are initiated and managed by a nonpharmaceutical company researcher/s who could be an individual investigator, an institution or a group of institutions, and a collaborative study group or a cooperative group. They are largely driven by questions that arise beyond the completion of Phase III studies that have not been studied during Phases I-III of drug development. The benefits of doing IISs are often offset by the myriad challenges posed by an IIS. These include finances, regulatory submissions, continuous oversight, training of study personnel, lack of expertise in statistics, data management, and medical writing Nonetheless, doing an IIS is extremely rewarding for the investigator and has the capacity to contribute to evidence and eventually impact policy. The present article presents both a brief literature review of IISs and a personal narrative of experience gained during the conduct several IISs in the last two decades. Challenges and potential solutions are described.


Academic research; clinical trials units; funding

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