12 Months To 7 Figures In Clinical Research

Dan Sfera
5 min readAug 24, 2015
It’s possible to make a lot of money in clinical research!

I get asked this question so many times:

“Hey Dan, I want to get started with a research clinic or a research company. How much can I make out of this?” So I think we’re really fortunate to be in this industry because it’s one of the quickest ways to generate huge revenues in a relatively short amount of time. Real estate is a lot like this too, you just have to be good salesperson or have a lot of leads. It works the same way in clinical research — you have to be a good salesperson. Even though we don’t really think of ourselves as salespeople, our job is to recruit doctors, to recruit studies, to negotiate contracts, to recruit study participants. So you’ve got to be a good salesperson as well in clinical research and that’s something that is very underrated or underappreciated in this industry. I think more people need to do more of it because we are so used to dealing with all the actual operations behind the scenes like executing the protocol. We’re worried about adverse events and serious adverse events and answering queries — don’t get me wrong, all that is important but we do need to think of ourselves more as business people because this is a business.

So this blog post is all about how to make 7 figures in 12 months from a brand new clinical research startup. First of all, you’ve got to have a lot of things going for you. You’ve got to have some study leads, some doctors, and a good pool of study participants you can recruit from. Whether you have a study coordinator or not is really up to you. If you are confident and comfortable enough doing the study coordinating work, by all means do it since you will profit more. There are basically two ways to get to 7 figures in 12 months. The first way requires just one study. So all you need is one inpatient clinical trial with enough days of inpatient stay. I would say a minimum of 10 inpatient days would be enough. Where you make your money in these studies is not in the study procedures but in the bed days. So you negotiate a deal with a hospital or with a nursing home or with some kind of clinic like a sleep lab that can accommodate overnight stay. Surgery centers are also another way to go about it, there are so many different options. You negotiate a rate with them, preferably a monthly rate and this is where having a lot of patients to enroll comes in handy. This is because you’re going to be paying a monthly rate, let’s say $3,000 to $5,000 a month for 2 beds or$ 9,000 a month for 6 beds which is what I did at one of my clinics on this million dollar study. And that’s all you really need. In one year, you will generate at least a million dollars if you enroll an average amount of study participants in that study, meaning 10. If you’re not doing any other studies then all your effort is focused on this study. What you do is when you negotiate that monthly rate, you then bill the sponsor for what they are willing to reimburse you for. Usually you want to get anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 a night for overnight stays. Of course you are going to have costs, like having some of your staff be present during those 24 hour shifts or those evening shifts. Some inpatient studies will require MD supervision, but not all of them do. Some only require an RN or a nurse practitioner to stay overnight. So the nights start adding up, and if you’re making about a thousand dollars a night in profit per patient (which is what you should be going for) and you have about 6 patients in there every single night for the duration of the study, you could make over a million dollars a year if you do this consistently. Again, having that period of inpatient stay at at least 10 days is crucial here. I’ve had a study where it was 45 days of inpatient stay. Typically they can range anywhere from 2 weeks to one month, but I’ve seen studies where the period was as long as 60 days of inpatient stay. So you can see how quickly it can add up at thousand dollars per patient per night, the revenues add up and we haven’t even gotten into the schedule of assessments where you’re getting reimbursed for every single procedure when the patients come in to the clinic when they get discharged or the procedures you conduct when you’re going to the unit. This is separate and it’s all extra revenue that all adds up. That’s my favorite way and the quickest way to get to 7 figures in 12 months.

If you can’t do inpatient studies or if you don’t want to cross that road just yet, there is option 2. You will need 10 outpatient clinical trials with each one paying at least $10,000 for every completed subject. And you don’t want any of the studies to last too long, you want a completed patient to be anywhere from 4 weeks to 12 weeks although you could push it out to be as long as 6 months. Sometimes phase 2 studies end really quickly, and those are the kinds of studies you want. The total reimbursement for each completed subject should be around $10,000. Sometimes you can get a lot more, like $14,000 or $15,000. It really depends what kind of study it is and what the procedures are. So you need about 10 studies like this that generates at least $10,000 per completed subject all going on at once. And you’re going to need to enroll at least 8–10 subjects (by “enroll” I mean randomize, not screen fail) in each of these studies. For this option, it’s possible to get to 7 figures in one month but you are also going to need to pay your study coordinators because there is no way you can do this by yourself. You can probably oversee it on your own but you will probably need at least 3 study coordinators. You can also see where recruiting patients becomes important and why constantly having study leads is important. Also, having enough MDs to refer you patients and negotiating budgets and contracts is very important. Luckily, I can do all this for you from my consulting firm so give me a call or a text at 949–415–6256 or email me at Dan@theclinicaltrialsguru.com. So there you have it, 2 ways to make 7 figures in 12 months. It is possible, it’s done all the time. Companies do this over and over and over again every single year. Hopefully you can too.