Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pediatric Trial Enrollment (Shameless DIA Self-Promotion, Part 1)

[Fair Warning: I have generally tried to keep this blog separate from my corporate existence, but am making an exception for two quick posts about the upcoming DIA 2013 Annual Meeting.]

Improving Enrollment in Pediatric Clinical Trials

Logistically, ethically, and emotionally, involving children in medical research is greatly different from the same research in adults. Some of the toughest clinical trials I've worked on, across a number of therapeutic areas, have been pediatric ones. They challenge you to come up with different approaches to introducing and explaining clinical research – approaches that have to work for doctors, kids, and parents simultaneously.

On Thursday June 27, Don Sickler, one of my team members, will be chairing a session titled “Parents as Partners: Engaging Caregivers for Pediatric Trials”. It should be a good session.

Joining Don are 2 people I've had the pleasure of working with in the past. Both of them combine strong knowledge of clinical research with a massive amount of positive energy and enthusiasm (no doubt a big part of what makes them successful).

However, they also differ in one key aspect: what they work on. One of them – Tristen Moors from Hyperion Therapeutics - works on an ultra-rare condition, Urea Cycle Disorder, a disease affecting only a few hundred children every year. On the other hand, Dr. Ann Edmunds is an ENT working in a thriving private practice. I met her because she was consistently the top enroller in a number of trials relating to tympanostomy tube insertion. Surgery to place “t-tubes” is one of the most common and routine outpatients surgeries there is, with an estimated half million kids getting tubes each year.

Each presents a special challenge: for rare conditions, how do you even find enough patients? For routine procedures, how do you convince parents to complicate their (and their children’s) lives by signing up for a multi-visit, multi-procedure trial?

Ann and Tristen have spent a lot of time tackling these issues, and should have some great advice to give.

For more information on the session, here’s Don’s posting on our news blog.

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