What Does a Clinical Trial Manager Do?

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  • Written By: Helen Akers
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2019
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Before a medical treatment can be administered to the general population, a clinical trial manager needs to oversee a test study. Sometimes referred to as a clinical trial or experiment, the study tests the effectiveness of the drug and any associated procedures. A manager is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the study, including its budget, protocol, and documentation. Most importantly, the manager of a clinical trial also serves as a communication liaison for everyone involved in the study.

In most instances, a clinical trial manager is charged with reviewing the rules and stipulations of the trial and making sure that they are carried out correctly. Government regulations may dictate how an experimental drug needs to be given to test patients, as well as the statistical methods that must be used to prove whether it is safe to use. The drug's developer might have additional standards and methods that need to be followed, such as dosage amounts, treatment frequencies, and the number of test patients to include.


A clinical trial manager may work as a contractor and oversee numerous unrelated studies in one year. In addition to ensuring that trial coordinators, doctors, and nurses follow the experiment's rules, he must make sure that a budget is adhered to. The manager may assist with developing the study's budget and determining how much will be spent on medical supplies, patient and staff payments. As the trial progresses, periodic expense monitoring and control are additional tasks that fall under the responsibility of budgeting.

Documenting the findings of the experiment is a crucial job responsibility for a clinical trial manager. While he may not perform all of the actual documentation, it is his duty to make sure it is completed and accurate. Part of this involves communicating expectations to the medical practitioners who are in charge of giving test patients medical treatments and observing the effects. Documentation may consist of both quantitative and qualitative results, including interviews and diagnostic tests.

Communication, feedback, and mentoring are part of a clinical trial manager's job. Even though the manager often looks at the trial from multiple perspectives, he needs to make sure that everyone involved works as a team. Facilitating team meetings and conference calls is a way that a manger can coordinate the individual objectives of different departments. It is also a way to open up communication between departments, resolve any differences, and extend help to anyone who might be struggling.


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