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Beyond the buzzword: Patient centricity takes hold

Friday, July 1, 2016

Patient centricity has become a bit of an industry darling—the buzzword is everywhere. Thousands of articles, images and conference talks have been devoted to raising the patient-centric bar in an effort to elevate patient perspective and find better ways to incorporate the needs of patients and caregivers—all as a path to improved clinical research.

Conceptually, we understand that clinical research has the most to gain when patients are not simply respect­ed participants, but viewed as valued partners with all study and clinical research stakeholders, at every step along the way.

If patient centricity is a criti­cal component of any study’s suc­cess, how do we collectively move the needle in the months and years ahead? What key strategies and tac­tics are needed to ensure that pa­tients are equal partners? I believe the real work begins with new and renewed commitments to improve multi-stakeholder collaboration and patient data transparency.

The 21st Century Cures Act is ex­pected to pass later this year. While much has been discussed about the act’s aim to reform significant as­pects of the FDA to help “modernize clinical trials” and support efficien­cies that will lead to faster cures, less has been written about its promise to “put patients first.” The life sciences industry will always be grounded by regulatory requirements, but the 21st Century Cures Act gives us a glimpse of what could and should be: regulation is catching up—and not a hindrance to—science.

Not everyone loves the phrase “we are all patients,” but the idea that we are all working together from a place of real care and empathy, is an im­portant one. Treating and viewing all patients as equal partners is not only the right thing to do, it’s benefi­cial to the study overall.

We all know the stats. Bringing a drug to market costs hundreds of millions of dollars or more, and only one of every 5,000 to 10,000 com­pounds investigated becomes an approved drug. Bettering that ratio, even marginally, could make a huge difference in the lives of patients and their families. We know we can do better. The need to enhance research across all areas is urgent, and patient-centric strategies can help.


Written by Guest Writer Bonnie A. Brescia. Brescia is a founding principal of BBK Worldwide, the world leader in patient recruitment for clinical research and development. A pioneer of patient recruitment over the last 30 years, Bonnie helped to shape the discipline and continues to be a well-recognized and highly sought after thought leader in the field. Her insights regarding the global clinical research community inform the industry and help fuel BBK’s leadership, innovation and global expansion. www.bbkworldwide.com

This article was reprinted from Volume 23, Issue 07, of The CenterWatch Monthly, an industry leading publication providing hard-hitting, authoritative business and financial coverage of the clinical research space. The Action Items section features short columns  focusing on actionable or how-to advice from clinical trial professionals. To submit an Action Item, please contact editorial@centerwatch.com. Subscribe >>

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