In the ever-evolving world of clinical research, one company is breaking the medical trial mould.
Medical research is an important part of the healthcare system on which we all rely. We know that the drugs given to us in hospitals and chemists have undergone rigorous testing to ensure that they do the job required of them, but how does that happen?
The usual way to conduct human trials for in-development medicines is for patients to attend a hospital or research facility. This can be disruptive and inconvenient, particularly for rare diseases where the few relevant patients may be far away from the specific place the study is taking place. This is particularly challenging where patients are simply too sick to move.
Medical Research Network (MRN) is a company dedicated to providing “patient centric” services – procedures that make it easier for a patient to participate in a clinical trial. For instance, in some trials patients are enabled to stay home where they are comfortable, particularly if travel is difficult.
This is positive for two reasons. Physicians appreciate that patients stay in the study with reduced burden of participation; and pharmaceutical companies benefit from more patients completing the trial activities and the studies finishing on time.
MRN says that across the board its services see improved levels of patient enrolment, recruitment and retention compared to location-specific trials.
Medical testing at home
The challenges of conducting medical research in people’s homes goes beyond asking the patient to take a tablet. Drugs often have to be administered by nursing staff, which requires a logistical feat of getting equipment, drugs, staff and instructions to the patient securely, at the same time.
Time itself is particularly critical in pharmaceuticals, as the effort to develop new drugs is long, even without trials overrunning (many take almost twice as long as expected to start and significantly longer to run). Delays in the research process are added to final costs for the drugs themselves.
A drug selling fairly well may make more than a million dollars a day at the peak of its sales, and some can make $75m, or $1.5bn in a month. As this level of income is extremely short-lived (a few years at most) with competitors soon coming to market, it pays if a new drug can be on sale by as little as a month earlier.
As a result, any approach that can help trials take place more smoothly is a huge benefit to drug developers. And there is good news for the rest of us too. Smoother processes allow more drugs to be researched and ultimately to reach the market, which is good for patients, good for the economy and good for the pharmaceutical company and the hundreds of thousands of people they employ around the world.
For more information, visit themrn.co.uk