STRATEGY #1: Dive deep to understand patient needs and give patients options for how they participate in clinical trials
The median cost to get a new medicine to market is almost $1 billion dollars, yet less than 14% of clinical trial therapies are approved by the FDA. As an industry, we need to adapt to improve our odds of generating efficacy data on a timescale that brings potentially life saving therapies to the diversity of our population more quickly. We will explore two strategies that have helped us serve this function, which you may want to consider when planning a clinical trial.
Adopting more patient-centric practices is one potential way our industry can adapt safely. The pay-off could be powerful; in partnership with sponsors, we’ve seen that when studies consider patients’ physical and psychological journeys throughout the clinical trial, patient experience improves. The literature also shows that patient-centricity has potential to:
- Improve patient participation
- Improve patient diversity
- Reduce patient dropouts
- Maintain patient safety
Patient centricity starts with deeply understanding patients’ needs. For many patients, travel, fear and poor communication about trial therapies are major deterrents to trial participation. And, sponsors have many tools that can help to overcome these challenges. For example, better communication and consent information about the drugs and methodology being implemented could help patients understand trial therapies. Giving patients options about where and how they participate in the trial could make it easier for patients to stay in trials. And, providing options to report outcome metrics with wearable devices could improve data quality.
For instance, eConsent can give patients who may be in pain - either physical or mental - more time to read, take in, and ask questions about the information being presented. Direct to patient drug shipping can reduce the amount of hassle the patient experiences by reducing the number of times they travel to the clinic to receive or take their medicine. Anything that makes it easier for patients to participate can increase the accuracy and effectiveness of the trial.
STRATEGY #2: Creating options for patients requires strong collaborations between partners and integrations across technologies
Technology solutions such as eConsent, IRT & DtP drug shipping, telehealth visits, and remote monitoring are all tools sponsors can use to respond to patients’ needs. And, they can increase convenience for both patient and clinical trial providers, if they are well integrated with each other. Suvoda has seen that our IRT, when well integrated with products like eConsent, telemedicine, eCOA and EDC, can give patients options and a worry-free trial journey, at least in terms of the technology. For example, when we have strong collaboration with other vendors and excellent tech integrations between our tools, it enables data to transfer accurately and the right info is shared with the right patient at the right time. When we connected early and often with other vendors, we were able to incorporate integrated technology solutions into protocols early to get regulatory approval.
Planning technology integrations, especially for tools that touch the complex trial logistics of both the drug supply chain and data management, is another small, safe adaptation that can help studies stay on track, ensure patient safety and make trials easier on sites and patients.
Increasing vendor collaborations and technology integrations, and centering the patient experience are important ways for our industry to adapt. Suvoda is excited to be a part of this shift in the clinical trials industry, because the payoff is big and it matters. Now is the time to adopt safe adaptations that can deliver more accurate trials, reduce patient dropout, and ultimately get medicines to market faster for those who need them most.