Five Ways You're Losing Money to Your Sponsors


During the busy time of conducting a clinical trial, it’s difficult to maintain close communication and frequent dialogue with sponsors and CROs. It’s little wonder, then, that it’s often hard to keep track of payments and where the money is at any given moment. Accounts and billings during a clinical trial can become highly complicated processes.

The reality is that you probably could be billing your sponsors for much more than you are currently.

Many sites just aren’t aware of costs they could be passing on and are instead bearing the burden themselves.

Here are five ways to transform your billing practices and start keeping everything you’ve earned:

1. Regulatory Expenses

One main reason sites are losing money to sponsors is because their staff is not constantly aware of expenses related to regulation. To prevent this, it is important that you have the correct processes in place and your staff is aware of the proper procedure for calculating and billing expenses incurred. IRB fees and safety reports are classic examples of costs that may not be billed if staff are unaware that they have been paid. If your staff are not aware of expenses, they won’t bill for them and you will be out of pocket.

2. Missing Payments

Constant communication is the key to a great relationship between sponsors and sites. But even when this is optimized, circumstances and lapses may still occur that cause delays in payments from sponsors or CROs. In such a scenario, the key to making sure you don’t ultimately lose money is to be meticulous in keeping track of your accounts receivable, knowing how much A/R is outstanding, and tracking payments.

3. Retainage

Failure to keep track of payments being withheld by a sponsor until the conclusion of a study is another pitfall. Sites can often be susceptible too, and this can potentially lose you money and make study close-out far more complicated. It’s important to keep accurate records of the amounts being withheld, for the entirety of the study. These amounts are likely to make up a fairly significant amount of your A/R so tracking payments meticulously simple makes sound financial sense.

4. Serious Adverse Events

SAE’s can occur at any time; they can be unexpected and complicated. Because of this, when they do happen, they swallow up enormous amounts of your staff’s time. These costs and any other expenses associated with SAE’s should be properly communicated and billed to your sponsors so that you are not left to pay the price.

5. Study-Specific Expenses

Sponsors have a duty to support you, not only with payments but with any equipment or practical support you need to carry out the requirements of a protocol. Ensure that you are always requesting help with necessary expenses if your site is not properly equipped to fulfill certain requirements.


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Since 2015, our team has been hard at work raising awareness of clinical trials across the globe. A Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ company and a graduate of the renowned Techstar program in New York, Citruslabs is at the forefront of patient recruitment and retention technologies. With over 3 million patients now recorded on our databases, our patient recruitment dashboard is fast becoming the most efficient method of trial recruitment.

Now a #1 health app in 17 countries, our Mindmate app is helping to revolutionize the way we think about healthcare. Mindmate “[takes] senior care into the digital age” (Forbes, 2018) by providing people with the cognitive decline the essential tools to help them rebuild and maintain strong mental health. Trusted by millions of users, our health community continues to grow as the content available expands to the needs of individuals today.

With more than 200 research sites now using the Citrus platform to screen thousands of patients every month, researchers are now well on their way to finding new treatments for hundreds of different health conditions - something that just would not be possible without a technological solution. Make sure that your clinical trial is in the lucky 12% and turn that luck into guaranteed results with Citrus.

  • Interested in finding out more? Get in touch with us here, and check out our archives for all our top tips and tricks on running successful clinical trials in today's constantly changing industry.

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