One of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, AstraZeneca, has over 67,000 employees. Among those are about 13,000 at 17 principal research and development centers in eight countries — including the United States. When Ellis Wilson assumed the role of Senior Director for Study Delivery in the United States in 2006, his Study Delivery Leaders (SDLs) made something very clear: “They told me, ‘If you don’t do anything else in your new job, please find a better approach to managing and executing investigator payments. That’s a job that’s driving us crazy. We’re not accountants, and it takes an enormous amount of our time.’”
It was a request that Wilson took very seriously — and ultimately addressed through an innovative outsourced solution that has revolutionized the way investigator grant payments are managed in the United States.
Wilson invested significant time in understanding the current approach to handling investigator grant payments. He also sought to identify best practices that were already in use. He soon discovered that across the United States, most of the company’s SDLs were handling this business process the same way: