Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Can Pharmacies transform patient recruitment?

We know that clinical trials are at a turning point.  With trials taking too long and many not completing their full testing cycle due to lack of patients, we continue our look today at  new, innovative ways that Pharma can overcome the current speed bumps they're experiencing when it comes to efficiently completing more clinical trials for less of a cost.

Today, I came across the article Future Clinical Trials: How Pharmacies will Transform Clinical Research.  It looked at how the Pharmacy can begin to play a pivotal role in recruiting and educating clinical trials and how sites can step up to the challenge of finding patients.

Author Moe Alsumidaie starts out by pointing out a few of the key things that Pharmacies can provide when acting as a site for a clinical trial:
-Scalable business operations to conduct clinical trials
-Pharmacies can a provide quality and consistency in clinical trial conduct
-Significantly improve the efficiency of the drug distribution process and patient access after a medical product has received NDA approval

Current site business models can't reach the level of scalability that a Pharmacy can. How does the author envision current sites stepping up to compete with the emerging threat of Pharmacies as potential sites? They can partner with the Pharmacies to develop new relationships with potential clinical trial participants. Both the Pharmacy and the Clinical Site have important information in the patient records. With digital records, the two could develop a fuller picture of a patient's background instead of simply medication prescriptions from the Pharmacy and clinical trial data from the site.  Also, while Pharmacies are a place for medication, they could educate their customers about the different offerings and specialties that the sites can provide for their health.  They can play an education role the patient's life.

Why do you think that Pharmacies aren't currently looked at as a major place for patient recruitment?  Do you see this changing in the future?