Friday, January 20, 2012

UBC/Medco Research Chief Calls for Payers to Play in Phase One Clinical Trials

“Inside Outsourcing” Podcast Series Explores Factoring Reimbursement Potential into Clinical Trials

By Marc Dresner, IIR USA

A series of high-profile research partnerships over the last year between big pharma and payers–Pfizer and Humana, AstraZeneca and WellPoint’s HealthCore, Sanofi and Medco—have exposed a growing trend: The active engagement of payers in the drug development and clinical trial process.

According to Dr. Robert Epstein, President of UBC and Chief Clinical Research & Development Officer of Medco Health Solutions, involving payers in clinical trials is a fairly nascent, but long overdue development that should begin as early as Phase I.

“For those of us in the payer community who are hoping to really help innovation make it to the market, it would help to get us involved toward the end of Phase I so that we could help inform the Phase II and Phase III program,” Epstein told Inside Outsourcing.

“What is most valuable is to actually put the payer in the room with the researcher,” said Epstein. “Allow the payer to share why it is that they feel the planned program is missing something from their perspective.”

The trend appears to signify a shift from looking at outcomes from a conventional efficacy and safety standpoint to a broader value focus that incorporates commercial viability and reimbursement potential.

In this exclusive podcast interview for “Inside Outsourcing: Spotlight on Clinical Trial Partnerships,” Epstein outlines:

- Why payers should be consulted as early as Phase I

- What payers can bring to the table

- How payer involvement may affect trial design and execution

- How personalized medicine will impact payer involvement in trials

- The impact of payers on serendipitous discovery breakthroughs

Listen to this episode of Inside Outsourcing!

Download the transcript!

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Inside Outsourcing: Spotlight on Clinical Trial Partnerships” is brought to you by the producers of the 21st annual Partnerships in Clinical Trials conference and exhibition—the world’s premier gathering for clinical development leaders and practitioners—taking place March 4-7 in Orlando, FL.  Also, as a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP1700BLOG, you'll receive 15% off the standard rate!

For more information or to register, please visit

Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s communication lead for special projects. He is the former executive editor of Pharma Market Research Report, a confidential newsletter for market research professionals specializing in the pharmaceutical, biotech and healthcare industries. He may be reached at Follow him @mdrezz.

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