Thursday, July 31, 2014

Patient Centered Trials - Your Thoughts Needed

The good folks down at eyeforpharma have asked me to write a few blog posts in the run-up to their Patient Centered Clinical Trials conference in Boston this September. In my second article -Buzzword Innovation: The Patient Centricity “Fad” and the Token Patient - I went over some concerns I have regarding the sudden burst of enthusiasm for patient centricity in the clinical trial world.

Apparently, that hit a nerve – in an email, Ulrich Neumann tells me that “your last post elicited quite a few responses in my inbox (varied, some denouncing it as a fad, others strongly protesting the notion, hailing it as the future).”

In preparing my follow up post, I’ve spoken to a couple people on the leading edge of patient engagement:


In addition to their thoughts, eyeforpharma is keenly interested in hearing from more people. They've even posted a survey – from Ulrich:
To get a better idea of what other folks think of the idea, I am sending out a little ad hoc survey. Only 4 questions (so people hopefully do it). Added benefit: There is a massive 50% one-time discount for completed surveys until Friday connected to it as an incentive).
So, here are two things for you to do:

  1. Complete the survey and share your thoughts
  2. Come to the conference and tell us all exactly what you think

Look forward to seeing you there.

[Conflict of Interest Disclosure: I am attending the Patient Centered Clinical Trials conference. Having everyone saying the same thing at such conferences conflicts with my ability to find them interesting.]


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pharma Disruption Watch

I have to admit to maybe being a little unsure about the "Dpharm: Disruptive Innovations to Advance Clinical Trials" conference.  A more cynical man than I might look at the high entry price, the posh venue, and the perhaps-somewhat-predictable list of long-time pharma insiders presenting and think: is this really the group that is going to change the status quo in clinical trials, or is this the group that created the status quo?

So last year, looking at the announced conference chairmen, I asked on Twitter:


I wasn't really expecting an answer, and I certainly didn't get one. The conference bills itself as a "TED-style event". The hallmark of the TED style, of course, is a spotlighted guru on stage and an audience whose role is strictly limited to nodding and clapping. Impertinent questions don't really fit that model.

But anyway. With this year's chairs announced, I was still curious to see how the face of disruption had changed in the past 12 months:

Dpharm: the 2014 Edition


Three returning chairs, two departing, and one new. Has the face of Dpharm been disrupted? To go back to my original question:

  • Big Pharma: last year, 1 out of the 5 co-chairs was a token non-pharma addition. He's gone, and this year features a pure 100% Big Pharma composition.
  • White males: Last year's 5/5 white males is down to 3/4. with one non-white and one female (who coincidentally happen to be the same person) addition.
  • In suits: Here, finally, we see some radical disruption: the staid, black and white, suited head shots have been replaced by colorful, half-body action photos that practically scream, "Look, I am giving a presentation!"

We can look back with pride. 2014: the year we disrupted the necktie.

The conference says "radical thinkers are especially welcomed" and considers itself comprised of "out of the box thinkers". Looking at this year's lineup, I'll humbly suggest that if we want radical, out of the box thinking, we need to - at least occasionally - stop rummaging through the same Big Pharma Box.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

These Words Have (Temporarily) Relocated

Near the end of last year, I had the bright idea of starting a second blog, Placebo Lead-In, to capture a lot of smaller items that I found interesting but wasn't going to work up into a full-blown, 1000 word post.

According to Murphy’s Law, or the Law of Unintended Consequences, or the Law of Biting Off More Than You Can Chew, or some such similar iron rule of the universe, what happened next should have been predictable.

First, my team at CAHG Trials launched a new blog, First Patient In. FPI is dedicated to an open discussion of patient recruitment ideas, and I’m extremely proud of what we've published so far.

Next, I was invited to be a guest blogger for the upcoming Partnerships in Clinical Trials Conference.

Suddenly, I've gone from 1 blog to 4. And while my writing output appears to have increased, it definitely hasn't quadrupled. So this blog has been quiet for a bit too long as a result.

The good news is that the situation is temporary - Partnerships will actually happen at the end of this month. (If you’re going: drop me a line and let’s meet. If you’re not: you really should come and join us!) My contributions to FPI will settle into a monthly post, as I have a fascinating and clever team to handle most of the content.

In case you've missed it, then, here is a brief summary of my posts elsewhere over the past 2 months.

First Patient In


Partnerships in Clinical Trials



Please take a look, and I will see you back here soon.

[Photo credit: detour sign via Flikr user crossley]