For the first time ever, GCP collaborations between the FDA and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) were the focus of a workshop for the drug development industry. In what is projected to be the initial installment in a series, the FDA hosted the MHRA and invited interested individuals to join the workshop “Data Integrity in Global Clinical Trials — Are We There Yet?”
If we take for granted that there will always be new and changing processes, systems, and digital platforms and the organizational complexity within Big Pharma will not abate, how do we ensure we optimize the entire clinical trial process and make the best use of our technology and process investments?
The true effect of an intervention is often not seen until real-world usage takes place, but with such a delay between R&D and healthcare delivery, how can the industry close the gap? And what is needed to deliver more effective interventions that patients really want?
Imagine your company just received FDA approval of a new pharmaceutical, the result of years of clinical research and difficult regulatory scrutiny. The product is being manufactured and is shipping to distributors and wholesalers. Providers and patient advocacy groups seem excited for the launch, and sales goals are considered aggressive. However, one key variable remains: coverage.
Progress in development of gene and cell therapies around the world has potential to transform standards of care for a range of diseases and address significant areas of unmet need in healthcare over the coming years. In the U.S. alone, almost 20 gene and cell therapy products have been approved thus far,1 with many other development programs reaching later clinical stages. The technology platforms of many of these drugs also offer the potential for curative efficacy and expansion for use in multiple indications.
In recent years, a growing number of pharmaceutical companies have recognized the potential benefits of pre-launch access programs, either as components of later-stage clinical development or early access programs or to support importation of drugs into countries recognizing an FDA or European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval. These programs help patients access investigational therapies prior to regulatory approval or commercial launch and are generally reserved for therapies that have demonstrated an acceptable level of proof of concept and safety. In addition to expanding treatment options for patients, often in indications that have limited or no approved therapies available, pre-launch access programs are also widely seen to play a significant role in advancing many drug development programs.
Fall is in the air, and Halloween is just around the corner. I always associate Halloween with “The Wizard of Oz.” When I grew up, Halloween meant reruns of the movie and was a highly anticipated annual family viewing event. Dorothy, the Wicked Witch of the West, those creepy flying monkeys, and, of course, the Wizard. We all had our favorite characters, and my poor parents had to contend with my post-movie nightmares for days. But it’s the Cowardly Lion who’s been on my mind recently.
“A bad system will beat a good person every time.” This quote by legendary management thinker W. Edwards Deming introduces the fundamental concept underlying process thinking. Process thinking, as the name implies, is a human factors-derived philosophy concerned with viewing the world through a process-oriented perspective. Processes are the essential components of our systems that enable them to execute their purpose: any set of steps designed to achieve an objective can be considered a process. The wide scope of this definition reflects the abundance of processes in all areas of our lives – both inside and outside the workplace. Based on this definition, a process is an objective-driven task.