A decade ago clinical trials were typically centered in either the U.S. or Europe, which have historically been the focus of Life Science organizations due to the size of the markets. Recently, those bases have expanded due to a large number of treatment naive patients located across the world—including Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.
LOGISTICAL CHALLENGES FOR HEALTHCARE
So, What's Changed?
In short, the products being driven to the FDA and various global regulatory agencies responsible for approval.
In the last few decades, both larger pharmaceutical companies and startups have moved away from primary care populations and focused more on the unmet needs of rare disease and oncology. In the 1990’s most companies focused on primary care disease states with large patient populations; however in 2015, about half of all drugs approved by the FDA were rare disease or orphan status—meaning there are fewer than 200,000 patients with the disease. These types of products illustrate the need to expand the search for patients on a more global scale. It is estimated by 2020 the sales of orphan status drugs will reach approximately $176 billion.
How Does that Affect the Global Meeting and Events Industry?
This shift has created a logistical challenge for patients traveling to a variety of life science and pharmaceutical meetings. From investigator trial meetings to meetings focused on commercial attendees, attendees are vital to the clinical trial process. Pharmaceutical companies must have a significant focus on recruitment and retention for the entire trial. Many of the patients and their caregivers end up traveling long distances to trial sites.
A high frequency of such visits, coupled with any specific disability associated with the condition, continuously required medical assessment and treatment. Simultaneously, their dependence on family members often leads to distress and frustration. This is often a deciding factor when it comes to patient participation or their continuation in an ongoing clinical trial. Providing logistical support to patients and caregivers has a positive impact on patient retention and improves patient adherence.
What are the solutions?
So how can clients ensure comfort for patients and adhere to compliance every step of the way? Partnering with an organization that specializes in the confidential coordination of patient travel and expense management for clinical trial participants is the first step in reducing stress and anxiety for patients. A company that can handle the many variables that go into travel, accommodation, ambulance charter, and special care and assistance when needed will make the process much smoother for the patients, sponsors and site. Whether it is BCD M&E’s Life Sciences Center of Excellence or another provider, a reputable and experienced agency is the best way to make a smooth process for all stakeholders.