6 Signs Your Clinical Development Leadership is Failing


Efficient leadership plays a huge role in bringing a clinical trial to fruition. Pharmaceutical companies are not immune to making mistakes and facing failures. Lack of funding, safety issues, and patient dropouts are some of the struggles clinical development teams face.

Some problems you as a leader may face may not always be in your control, e.g., lack of funding. Other issues such as low team morale, inflexible leadership, and missing deadlines are some factors in your control and leading to failed clinical trials.

Here are six signs your clinical development leadership is failing.

1.Lack of knowledge and experience

There is no quick-fix solution to a lack of experience in the biopharma field. Physicians are often moved across departments to lead different teams. If the physician doesn’t have the knowledge and expertise required to be an effective part of the team, they will likely fail. Leadership needs to assign tasks or projects to physicians based on their expertise.

2.Safety issues

One of the major reasons why clinical trials fail is due to safety issues. Ensuring proper safety measures are taken at the beginning of the trial will prevent any issues from arising in the future. Ineffective leadership does not take safety concerns seriously, leading to safety hazards, which lead to delayed trials.

3.Missing deadlines

It is the responsibility of the clinical leadership to ensure the trials are on track. Some of the reasons why leaders miss deadlines is because the process of trials can be inconvenient or unengaging. Leaders must ensure the trial process is smooth for the patients at every step.

4.Lack of leadership-traits

Being a leader is not an easy feat. Leaders and managers must often make uncomfortable decisions such as firing and demoting employees. Leaders who people-please cause friction in their teams. As a leader of a biopharma team, you have to step up and be assertive in your decisions.

5.Poor recruitment

Hiring the right patients for the clinical trial and ensuring they stick with you till the end is essential to successful trial completion. As a leader, you need to be hands-on with the process or find a clinical manager who can help find the right people for the trial. The estimated cost of a failed trial ranges from $800 million to $1.4 billion.

6.Problem setting priorities

Clinical trial development involves discovery and development, preclinical research, drug development, FDA review, etc. When working through each phase, a leader decides which tasks should be taken care of first based on the priority. Ineffective leadership doesn’t set clear priorities, which leads to last-minute scrambling, causing setbacks in trials.

Effective leadership is crucial in the pharmaceutical and medical industry. If you are looking for candidates for leadership positions, executive search companies can help you find the top 5% of life sciences leadership talent.

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