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International Clinical Trials

Promising Participation

In the history of medical research, the concept of patient centricity is a relatively new one. Until a few years ago, the primary focus of most clinical trials was developing drugs for commercial application. Patients were important and necessary to this process, but only because they represented the human connection to data the development team needed to move a drug candidate or treatment option through the regulatory approval process.

Unsurprisingly, patients who did become involved in clinical trials often felt disrespected and unimportant. As the industry accepted that patients’ generally low levels of satisfaction translated into compliance issues and high dropout rates, as well as broadly negative perceptions of clinical research that contribute to the limited participation rates of today, interest began to rise in assessing and addressing patient concerns.

By the mid-2000s, terms such as ‘patient centricity’ and ‘patientcentric trials’ had begun to find their way into publications and presentations. Although precise definitions vary, the underlying concept from the beginning is that providing patients with more information and greater integration into the trial process will lead to greater patient satisfaction and improved outcomes for sponsors, research centres, and patients.

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Lea Studer is the Senior Vice President of Marketing Communications at SCORR marketing – a full-service marketing firm in the health sciences industry, and the lead organiser for the Bridging Clinical Research and Clinical Healthcare Collaborative. The collaborative was founded to bring together leaders from pharma, biotechnology, CROs, healthcare organisations, advocacy groups, and the FDA to focus on ways to advance healthcare through bridging regulatory, technology, and people and processes.
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