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How to cost a clinical trial

Costing a clinical trial for a new drug or a qualitative clinical study is a tricky business, particularly when a complex network of universities and hospitals is involved. Evgeny Dmitriev provides a step-by-step guide to how it's done in the NHS.

I help support research proposals by providing a breakdown of staff employed by the university or trust and applying the relevant rates in terms of overheads and other costs, which differ between funders.

For all studies other than commercially funded ones—that is everything funded by charities, the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research—universities are reimbursed for 80 per cent of the full economic costs of doing the research, including overheads and a proportion of other costs, such as estates. Hospitals get reimbursed for 100 per cent of direct research costs only.

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