EDC gets cool reception in the clinic

Here's a zinger: Using electronic data capture technology has driven up the cost of clinical trials. That's according to Tal Zaks, VP for oncology development at Sanofi-Aventis. He's someone who continues to spend time in the clinic in addition to his corporate responsibilities.

Zaks is likely providing just his clinician's view, and not his corporate view of the technology. He was part of a panel discussion conducted last week in Boston by parent publication FierceBiotech. Sophisticated EDC systems allow for many queries and the clinician must spend time sorting through them, says Zaks. "Are we using the technology wisely?"

But EDC systems provide a level of control that lets you decide how much data to collect, counters Santosh Vetticaden, senior VP at Cubist Pharmaceuticals.

Frederic Sax, clinical VP at AstraZeneca, says that thanks to EDC his access to information is much better. But in terms of the time he spends on data-related matters, his situation is worse. Sax acknowledges, however, that many of the benefits of EDC are realized at the corporate level in terms of savings from operational efficiencies.