Exploring Treatment Options with Others Online: Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Exploring Treatment Options with Others Online: Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD MSPH According to the CDC, in 2015, an estimated 1.3 percent of US adults (3 million) reported being diagnosed with irritable bowel diseases (IBD): either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.1 There are 70,000 new cases diagnosed every year.2 These immune-mediated diseases can cause destructive inflammation and can permanently harm the intestines. Symptoms can include diarrhea with fever, abdominal pain and cramping and fatigue among others.3 Every patient’s symptoms vary in type, severity, and frequency, so Inspire members go online to discuss their [...]

Involve Pharma Marketing Early in Drug Development

Involve Pharma Marketing Early in Drug Development By Richard Tsai In 2009, PricewaterhouseCooper published a paper predicting the landscape of pharma marketing in the decade to come titled “Pharma 2020: Marketing the Future - Which Path Will You Take?” What were they expecting then, and how does it compare with today’s remarkable and fluid pharma reality? One of the predictions was, “By 2020, pay-for-performance will be the norm in many countries.”1 In 2009, it was a simple matter; if the patient received a prescription, there would be payment. The authors anticipated that health outcomes would become the [...]

Real World Voice Allows Patients to be Part of the Cure

Real World Voice Allows Patients to be Part of the Cure By Claire Harter “The patient wants to be a partner in cure, just as with their doctors they want to be a partner in care.” - John Linnell, COPD Patient Advocate, talking about health literacy, eyeforpharma virtual conference, 4/14/2020 Where and how can patients partner with pharma for a cure? Where can pharma go to learn from patients about the patient experience? One resource is Electronic health records (EHRs). As a resource, they provide critical information about patient diagnosis and treatment. But, EHRs reflect the [...]

Searching For Colorectal Cancer Treatment Answers

Searching For Colorectal Cancer Treatment Answers By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD MSPH Inspire members discuss their colorectal cancer (CRC) treatment options and choices in the Fight Colorectal Cancer Support Group on Inspire because there is a lot to discuss. While it’s the third most common cancer in the United States,1 determining a course of treatment for an individual’s CRC is a multi-step process.2 A positive test is followed by other tests: biopsies, scans, blood tests, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or others.3 Surgery is the most common treatment; but treatments can include chemotherapy, radiation, radiofrequency ablation, and cryosurgery; some are determined [...]

Members Find Support on Available Treatments for Osteoporosis

Members Find Support on Available Treatments for Osteoporosis By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD MSPH While the CDC is urging the public and the medical community to delay “all elective and ambulatory provider visits,” Inspire’s partner, the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), is stressing the need for osteoporosis patients to adhere to their medication schedule, including medications that require provider administration. “It is extremely important that patients taking… (anti-osteoporosis) medications administered by a healthcare provider stay on time for scheduled injections.”1 They then list several common medications that fall into this category. This complicates an already challenging condition for the [...]

How is COVID-19 Impacting Patients and the Life Science Industry?

How is COVID-19 Impacting Patients and the Life Science Industry? By Jeff Terkowitz As a virtual business, Inspire has a head start in dealing with social distancing and COVID-19. Many of our employees work virtually. Our patient and caregiver members have always communicated virtually and during this time are actively engaged in discussing the impact the Coronavirus and COVID-19 are having on their behaviors, concerns and needs. Proactive as ever, Inspire created a new resource for Coronavirus including a map of where people are discussing their experiences, videos of Inspire members participating in our #keepusallsafe public awareness [...]

Continuing Critical Patient-Centric Research Virtually during COVID19

Continuing Critical Patient-Centric Research Virtually during COVID19 By Richard Tsai The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing all kinds of businesses and research institutions to find ways of working that provide results similar to what we’re used to gaining from human social interaction. For example, being mindful of the time healthcare professionals need to dedicate to the pandemic has resulted in tremendous delays in HCP-based market research programs. Many clinical trial sites have temporarily suspended work that not only impacts existing enrolled patients but also greatly reduces recruitment. How can we continue critical research programs amidst these challenges? As [...]

Caregivers and Treatment Decisions

Caregivers and Treatment Decisions By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Besides patients and doctors, who else influences treatment adherence at the consumer level? Marketing might look to one group that has multiple points of influence: Caregivers. Several studies confirm that caregivers are an important factor in a patient’s decisions, including decisions on medication. One study called "The Role of the Family in Treatment Decision Making by Patients With Cancer,” said, “Family opinions have a significant impact on patients’ treatment decisions and psychological well-being....Family care of patients typically involves monitoring patients’ medications.” Another study entitled, “Patient Centered Care: A [...]

Caregivers: An Untapped Resource for Clinical Research

Caregivers: An Untapped Resource for Clinical Research By Hannah Eccard, MA Caregivers provide substantial support to the health and well-being of patients in the US. One of their contributions involves helping patients search for, and participate in, clinical trials. Caregivers turn to Inspire for help finding and accessing clinical trials. My father was diagnosed [date] with stage 4 [type] cancer. He has been on numerous rounds of chemotherapy and last scan showed the cancer has progressed…We are now waiting news of any clinical trial he is eligible for…. He is in stable condition now without any issues... [...]

Merck’s Patient-Centric Clinical Trial Recruiting

Merck’s Patient-Centric Clinical Trial Recruiting By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD MSPH Merck boosts clinical trial recruitment with a patient-centric mindset Everyone in pharma knows that product success depends on the results of clinical trials -- but we don’t usually hear from the people who are involved in running them.  Recently, four Clinical Research Managers (CRM) from Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) discussed how Merck is overcoming the barriers to clinical trial recruitment by adopting a patient-centric process -- a model that affects their trials top to bottom, from design through implementation. Each of [...]