We know that social media usage is up year-over-year across all ages, but how is it being put to use for clinical research? On June 11th I had the pleasure of participating in a social media forum hosted by MassBio with PatientsLikeMe, Biogen and Boston Children’s Hospital. It was an eye opening discussion that looked at the use of social media within clinical trials from the varying perspectives of advocacy groups, IRBs and pharmaceutical companies, each with different goals in mind and facing their own set of unique challenges.
There is a huge unmet need in the rare disease community to invest in developing treatments. According to the US advocacy group Global Genes, there are more than 7,000 distinct rare diseases affecting 350,000,000 people worldwide and only 400 approved therapies. How can we adapt traditional recruitment strategies to target the right patients? The goal is to create tailored adaptive strategies aimed at extending reach and building relationships. There are many ways in which this can be done. In this first post of a series focused on adaptive recruitment for rare disease, I will explore the introduction of an early support program.
While the push for sponsors to go global with clinical studies is old news, the industry has been working hard to develop and invest in ways to choose the right sites and countries. Ultimately, site selection matters because investigator sites are the only place where study volunteers can participate in clinical research. Enrollment is the end game – further drug development, regulatory submissions and marketing are contingent on having this data.
Over 100 million people subscribe to streaming radio services such as Pandora® and Spotify®, a number that’s only expected to grow in the years ahead. With the vast majority of those users embracing the ad-supported “freemium” model in over 50 countries around the world, streaming radio represents one of the most attractive and cost-effective platforms to connect with global healthcare consumers.
At BBK we’re often talking about adaptive recruitment and the importance of modifying traditional approaches to increase patient enrollment and retention. Developing an overarching branding strategy for a clinical trial is one of the first steps in a patient recruitment campaign and it’s not a one size fits all approach. BBK has worked on thousands of campaigns over the years, many of which target patients in various countries. There is a lot of diversity to consider when developing the right clinical study branding strategy. Multiple languages, differing philosophies on sensitive topics that may be taboo to discuss publicly in some countries, and varying regulatory environments mean branding must take a strategic and thoughtful approach.
BBK Worldwide is pleased to offer our first “Focus 5”, a compilation of quick tips, advice and insights to help companies understand patient centricity as it relates to enhanced patient recruitment and patient engagement within clinical trials.
Considering a social media campaign for your clinical trial? While there are proven advantages to using social media as a patient recruitment tactic, additional considerations must be explored when deciding if social media fits your campaign’s needs. First, scope out your audience by evaluating the opportunity with a social media listening program. For example, how active and engaged is this study community on social media? Or, how many Facebook groups, outlets, etc. are out there for these patients to find each other? Next, evaluate the outlet – What are all my options when building a social media page? Or, what outlets can I use if I just want to advertise?
A few weeks ago, and nearly five years after its open hearing on the topic, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally released its proposed guidelines for how drug and device makers should navigate social media. Much has been written on the new guidelines including a few informative posts by Ed Silverman at the Wall Street Journal. As Silverman notes, among the 50 largest drug makers, half are still not using social media to engage consumers or patients, according to a survey by the IMS Institute for Health Informatics. He also suggests that the FDA will likely use the guidances as trial-and-error blueprints themselves as they run across questions that were not answered or situations that may not have been anticipated.
Even if you were able to correlate advertising referrals to consented patients with a high degree of accuracy (and then to screen-fail and randomization) the fact of the matter is, "So what?"
Four scenarios spring to mind with regard to the quest for this correlation:
New R&D Model Protects Performance in a Threatened Enrollment Landscape
DIA 2014 50th Annual Meeting, SAN DIEGO, Calif. and BOSTON, Mass., June 16, 2014--BBK Worldwide, the leader in patient recruitment, today unveiled a new specialty in clinical trial marketing: adaptive recruitment. Designed specifically to protect global enrollment integrity, within a changing or threatened landscape, adaptive recruitment helps sites and sponsors maximize tight budgets and timeframes by offering the tools and best-practices needed to ensure more informed recruitment and enrollment decisions – and the ability to seamlessly employ real-time corrections as needed. BBK Principal Matthew Stumm will discuss this new model in detail during his DIA Annual Meeting presentation, "Adopting New Strategies for the New Face of Patient Recruitment," on Tuesday, June 17 at 2:45 p.m. PST.