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Discovery & Development Clinical Trials

What Patients Want

Are the pharmaceutical industry's clinical development programs more patient-centered than they used to be? Well, there is certainly a lot more talk about ‘patient-centric’ clinical trials. But if I were to pick up a protocol from today and compare it with a similar trial 10 years ago, I doubt I would notice a significant change in design or concept.

Do we think more about the patient than we used to? Yes... And yet, in over 20 years in the industry, I have seen countless missed opportunities to involve patients. For years, I worked on studies and programs that relied on patient involvement, and I saw first-hand the same problems again and again. Recruitment would fall behind, trials went over-budget, and patients had recurring complaints. Many of these issues stemmed from the original trial protocol; I wanted to find out where we were going wrong and how we could do better. The most obvious place to start was to talk with the patients. Surprisingly, this is still a novel concept.

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About the Author

Abbe Steel

Abbe Steel is Founder and CEO of HealthiVibe, a company that enables patients to contribute to clinical trial design. Previously she was the Vice President of Patient & Physician Services at UBC-Express Scripts, worked at Sanofi on global marketing programs, and was Senior Director, Patient Programs at PAREXEL. When Abbe isn’t busy tweeting (@AbbeSteel) about patient centricity, you can usually find her walking a funny-looking black dog named Harper.

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