Why We Do Clinical Research: A Reminder

Sometimes in the rush of daily responsibilities, we lose sight of why we chose clinical development as our life’s work.  Last week a pleasant surprise provided a vivid reminder of why I focus on finding more efficient ways to run clinical programs and studies.  The unexpected reminder came from The Triangle Business Journal, the leading business publication in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, one of the nation’s top three biotechnology centers.  Our headquarters is in RTP and The Triangle Business Journal  was kind enough to honor me as the “Health Care Hero” in the innovator/researcher category.  They produced a nice video for the awards dinner that gave me an opportunity to talk about our goal of reducing the time and cost of development and thereby opening opportunities for helping people with rare diseases that lack effective treatments.

That’s what it’s all about. We’re not pursuing efficiency for efficiency’s sake but to help people.  Some of our current work falls squarely in areas of unmet needs of the type that originally attracted us to clinical research.  For example, we’re conducting an innovative N-of-1 study to accelerate development of a new treatment for patients with a comparatively rare variant of a major respiratory disease.  We’re involved in a similarly innovative project to help patients with a rare disease of connective tissue and another to help patients with traumatic brain injury. We look back on projects that brought an HPV diagnostic to market 2.5 years early and another that brought a treatment for metastatic breast cancer to market a year early.

Our sponsors deserve the credit for discovering the treatments and inventing the diagnostics, but we helped save lives by making them available much earlier to physicians and patients. And we were able to do that because of working for years to make clinical development more efficient.

I say “we” because these achievements all resulted from the team effort that breaks a project down into its components and addresses them to achieve an overall result.  Sometimes when you’re pulling the oars every day, it’s nice to look back and see how much distance the boat has covered through collective effort over time.  I want to thank The Triangle Business Journal for generously naming me a “Health Care Hero” in recognition of the work that everybody at Health Decisions has done during the years we’ve spent together improving the efficiency of clinical development.

I’d say more if we didn’t need to get back to work.  We’ve got studies to run and protocols to write, not to mention projects that will further improve efficiency later this year, next year and the year after that.

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