The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has launched a new interactive Costing Tool (iCT), superseding the Excel-based version of the industry costing templates.

Based on the opinions and experiences of NIHR stakeholders, the new iCT will better meet the need of users and streamline the costing process involved in setting up commercial contract studies within the NHS, ultimately making it quicker and easier to set up commercial studies through increased accuracy and visibility of commercial costing.

The tool aims to enable faster costing and contracting between the life sciences industry and the NHS as part of the study set-up phase, whilst providing an accessible solution to improve set-up times by reducing the time for cost negotiation.

Major improvements on the previous versions of the costing template include a simpler layout with a fully automated costing solution, accessible from the NIHR Central Portfolio Management System (CPMS).

The app will also contain a central log of all adjustments made as part of the contract negotiation process, enabling NIHR to further streamline processes by identifying any issues or delays.

Updates or changes to the new system are now a seamless process, improving system reliability and the system works on any computer - overcoming software compatibility issues inherent to the Excel-based version of the tool.

The tool is fundamental for underpinning the transition to a new single review process for all commercial studies.