We recently sat down with BBK’s Global Strategist Amanda Moody to discuss the company’s commitment to Parkinson’s disease clinical research, including ongoing innovation designed to foster a positive and meaningful patient journey.
Can you briefly describe BBK’s experience with the Parkinson’s disease community?
We have a long-standing commitment to the Parkinson’s community, both in terms of supporting clinical research as well as individual patient and caregiver needs.
At BBK, we strive to create an optimal study experience – so when we design and implement our services, we take into consideration the unique priorities, needs, and concerns of Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers. It’s our goal to be supportive at every step of the journey.
Recently we had the opportunity to partner with the Parkinson’s community in a new way. Through our relationship with the The Michael J. Fox Foundation, we were invited to sponsor their 2021 Parkinson’s Disease Therapeutics Webinars. It’s a series of four webinars featuring presentations on a hot topic in Parkinson’s research and therapeutic development from leaders in the field.
Can you share the number of studies and patients BBK has supported?
In the past five years, we have supported more than 18 studies – phase I, II, and III – with enrollment and / or engagement efforts. In terms of the number of patients, I believe it’s just over 2,250 in 30 countries. We’re very proud to play a part in moving research forward and in helping advance potential treatment options for patients in need.
Are there any specific tactics that have resonated more than others with patients and caregivers?
While specific tactics are determined by the needs of each individual study, our RSG® Card reimbursement program and RSG® Arrive travel program have had a significant impact in increasing access to care, removing barriers to participation, and helping patients remain engaged. The illustration below shows RSG Card's impact on just one study.
What I like about this image is that it provides study sponsors with the data to confidently embrace these types of solutions for the Parkinson's community. Specifically, you can see:
- The RSG Card user withdrawal rate was approximately 40% lower than the non-user withdrawal rate.
- The withdrawal rate for those not using RSG Card was approximately 67% higher than the user withdrawal rate.
On a side note, while Parkinson’s disease patients and their caregivers tend to rely on the relationship established with their dedicated physician, the internet has also blossomed into an avenue for information gathering and sharing – such as social media, advocacy, and support groups. These are also tactics to consider.
Can you share some of the insights you have gleaned from a tactical standpoint?
The Parkinson’s community – including patients and their caregivers – are very active, knowledgeable, and dedicated to the treatment of the disease. And there is growing recognition of clinical trials as a worthy consideration and an opportunity to advance additional treatment options. Caregivers are just as critical an audience as Parkinson's patients when raising awareness about a specific clinical trial opportunity, and it is important to include messaging and advertisements that are targeted to them.
Some more topline insights include:
- Educational materials are critical to keeping study participants motivated and engaged throughout participation.
- Extension-of-care initiatives, such as reimbursement and travel assistance, reduce study burden.
- The caregiver is a key decision maker in determining treatment pathways.
- Digital and social outreach tactics have historically performed well with this audience.
- Services that lessen the burden of study participation – specifically travel – help reduce unnecessary stress and worry during emotional times.
Is there anything else you would like to share on this topic?
I think it’s important to note that while we have an extensive understanding of this audience and the clinical research and treatment landscape, it's always evolving. Taking a strategic approach to our support recommendations and tactical mix is best determined on a protocol-by-protocol basis and with an assessment that takes into consideration any recent drug approvals, selected countries and corresponding access to care, and advocacy partnership opportunities.
To discuss this topic further with Amanda, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.