Part 1 in this series of blogs on the role of referring physicians in clinical research chronicled the factors that have led to study sponsors’ lack of confidence in physician referrals as an effective patient recruitment strategy. In Part 2 of this series on Research Champions referring physicians spoke for themselves through primary research conducted by BBK Worldwide. Today, we look at best practices that lead to referring physician programs that generate compelling results.
Part 1 in this series of blogs on the role of referring physicians in clinical research chronicled the factors that have led to study sponsors’ lack of confidence in physician referrals as an effective patient recruitment strategy. This installment gives voice to the referring physicians themselves by sharing results of primary research conducted by BBK Worldwide.
Long ago, in a land far away, principal investigators were expected to “accrue study subjects” using their network of physician colleagues. Enrolling subjects from one’s patient panel was discouraged as therapeutic misconception might impugn study results. As a result, acceptable enrollment might run from 36 to 60 months or more.
Investigators would commonly send a “Dear Doctor” letter to others within their hospital or to their personal connections. Rarely did these letters produce effective results. Over time, referring physician programs altogether lost value and credibility due to a few commonly held beliefs:
About this time each year I blog about how much I hate cancer. This year, it’s a bit tougher as my father was diagnosed with advanced head and neck cancer in June. Once again I am reminded about the difference it makes to be knowledgeable about clinical trials when making treatment decisions. We ask more questions. We explore more options. We filter what we hear through experience. And, we know when the informed consent process isn’t being done well – or even in compliance with regulations.
A city where women make on average .83 for every dollar earned by men, Boston is taking steps to close the wage gap through “100% Talent: The Boston Women’s Compact.” The compact is a voluntary pledge that more than 100 Metro Boston-based organizations have already signed, indicating their promise to close the gender wage gap in the workplace. Salary data will be collected and analyzed and companies will have access to research-driven tools and support to address pay gaps and inequities. Proudly, it’s also the first initiative of its kind in the country.
Following an inspiring few days at last week’s SYNERGY conference in Boston, hosted by ACRES, we’re in London at the Allan Lloyds 9th Annual Optimizing Clinical Research Summit this week to share ideas with colleagues and speak about mHealth and patient engagement.
Again this year I was privileged to participate in the Women’s Clinical Leadership Dinner, hosted by the Partnerships in Clinical Trials Conference. With so many women in life sciences leadership roles here in Boston, it was fitting to gather right in our own backyard. (And for those of you who missed the dinner, look for it again next spring at Partnerships in Boston.)
During the first 25 years of the Orphan Drug Act (passed in 1983), only 326 new drugs were approved by the FDA and brought to market for all rare disease patients combined. Prior to the Orphan Drug Act, fewer than 10 treatments had been developed by industry for rare diseases. This is progress however; there is a lot of work to be done.
You know the feeling. You believe strongly in an idea that hasn’t yet hit the mainstream. You talk it up, write about it, join a march, advocate for it, and sometimes even beg people to give the concept a try. So here we are. Patient centricity in clinical research has hit the mainstream. There is no conference that doesn’t include the topic on the agenda – and many have absorbed it into their meeting titles and promotional materials. No group of clinical trial professionals gets around a table or on a conference call without at least three people using the phrase “patient centric” during the discussion. Some companies even require that clinical teams incorporate patient centricity into their study design. Great progress, you say.
Topics: Patient Centricity
Today is World Cancer Day. Eighteen months ago, my dear friend Sarah Montgomery died of colon cancer and I posted the original “I Hate Cancer” blog. I still miss Sarah very much, but she was only one of many people I mentioned in that post. Since then, my friend died from her metastatic brain cancer, my aunt died from adenocarcinoma, and every one of my friends then in treatment for breast cancer has survived and is doing very well. One even gave birth to her third child.