Incorporating Patient Centricity in Clinical Trial Design

How would you personally define “patient-centric”?
“It’s more about aligning the goals of your clinical trials with patient interests. I don’t believe the goal is to design trials that are going to meet patients’ needs, but rather, to create a real partnership, working with patients to drive the design itself early on in the protocol stage. My approach is to actually embed the patients in the clinical trial at the R&D team. Allowing patients to be involved in the process and taking into consideration their input during protocol design, even if some aspects seem insignificant, will create a real impact and a big win for everybody involved.”

What makes eyeforpharma take notice of the move towards “patient-centric”?
eyeforpharma’s mission is to make pharma companies more open and valued. We’re creating a movement for industry executives who want to prioritize value for patients and HCPs. This is a process that has created a mindset, a philosophy of collaborating with research partners in the clinical trial space. That is the
essential question: what is important for patients, and how can we shape our trials according to that? We’ve also been talking to patients, trying to understand what matters to them. My philosophy tries to fill the gaps. What are the gaps between what pharma companies and other stockholders think is important of patients, and what is actually important, as stated directly by them?

In your opinion, what is really driving the “patient-centric” movement?
The clinical enterprise has many stakeholders. However, we have to make sure we understand that the most important stakeholder is the patient. Everything is about the patient and for the patient! At this stage in the drug development process, we have been focusing on science, compliance, and regulatory affairs. We are losing track of what really matters… We also noticed that our productivity is not improving, and we don’t really question our strategy. About two 2 years ago, we started the patient centered-clinical trials initiative with the idea of rethinking the current model and putting the patient in the center of clinical development. In addition, the advent of the internet and social media confirmed the fact that the patient is the number one stakeholder. Indeed, patients today are very knowledgeable and invested in their own health, due to the large amount of information that they have available at their fingertips. This is a new advantage for the Pharmaceutical Industry, and should be used in clinical trials for the benefit of everyone involved.”

Nassim is a Global Project Director at eyeforpharma and heads up the Clinical Trials Initiative USA. As a part of the initiative, he has been bringing together and working closely with clinical thought leaders and game changers from the Pharmaceutical Industry and other key stakeholders to help implement meaningful transformations to the clinical trial enterprise. He holds an MBA from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and has lived and worked on three continents and is fluent in three languages.

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