Why “Bother” To Offer That Patient A Clinical Trial???

Several years ago, I made a presentation at what at the time was still PMRG (now Intellus) with a gentleman named Ross Weaver. (clinicalscore.com) Ross’s expertise is in the area of helping pharmaceutical companies “accrue” enough patients to complete their clinical trials. That’s often quite a challenge, and delays in trial completion are hugely expensive!

In that presentation, Ross and I talked about how the principles of marketing can be employed in getting patients to sign up for clinical trials. I thought of that presentation when I read this interesting article.

As with so many cases in healthcare marketing, this piece makes it clear that there are two customers here, and a complex marketing case to boot. First, we need to sell the doctor on enrolling in the clinical trial.  Then we need to sell the doctor on actually enrolling patients. Then we  need to help the doctor sell trial enrollment to their patients. Oh, I forgot. Last but not least, and often most challenging, is selling enrolled patients on continuing in the clinical trial to the end of their protocol.

Read the referenced article closely. What pops out at me, as is so often the case these days, is the way the principles of Behavioral Economics can be employed here. Note the author’s comment that in some countries, the only way for the cost of a patients’ care to be completely covered is if they participate in a clinical trial. Behavioral Economists call this making trial participation the “default condition.” That makes me wonder, in turn, as to what other BE principles can be brought to the party here.

Bottom Line. Maybe it is time for us marketing and marketing research types to visit with our companies’ clinical trials people and see if some of the new principles we are learning about in marketing, like those brought to us through Behavioral Economics, can be brought to their all-important work!

Do you have any ideas, suggestions, or comments after reading this post? If so, stop by and leave a comment on the blog!

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