In a commercial for cough syrup, an actor from General Hospital said, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.” That was in 1984. Today is a brave new world. In an era of “influencers,” people want to hear less from paid spokespeople and more from real people. Therefore, as pharma strives for patient-centricity, real patient voices are critical to all aspects of drug development. Those voices can be hard to obtain—but they don’t have to be.
Patient voices are important
In recent years, pharma companies have recruited groups of patients in various disease states for their perspectives and patient journeys. Clinical, Medical Affairs and Commercial often turn to patient advocacy groups to find real people who have a given disease or condition. Data mining technology makes it possible to identify patients with disease state experience quickly and efficiently. That’s all good. However, those strategies fall short. They identify real people, but those people are not your patients. Those “real people” have no experience with or insight into your product.
Experience makes the difference
The most valuable voices are those of your clinical trial patients, because they know what it’s like to use your product. Your patients can speak to the impact your product has made in their lives. They can also offer insight into issues you might have overlooked. What’s more, with the right program in place, you don’t have to jump through hoops to find those patients. That’s because you already “know” them, or at least you can hear from them.
Clinical SCORE’s exclusive Trial Alumni Panel™ (TAP) program creates a panel of patients from your trials. The result is rapid, compliant access to patients with hands-on experience with your drug or device.
Potential benefits of establishing a TAP include:
- Targeted audience for product announcements, including trial results, approvals and brand names
- Articulate brand ambassadors and advisory board members
- Built-in panel of patients for website, patient support program design, immediate post-launch course correction
- Potential advocates for clinical trial recruitment
- Pool for user/non-user studies immediately post launch
Timing a TAP
A TAP program can start anytime. It can include patients from a single study or a program of studies. You will want to work with a vendor that has the following:
- Experience in writing protocols
- A thorough understanding of Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements
- Ability to develop patient-facing materials
- Experience working directly with both sites and patients
If you want to be able to TAP into real patients who have experience with your products, please email Ross Weaver or call (484) 202-6630.
If you want more information like this, please visit the Clinical SCORE Knowledge Base.