Veristat: Veristat Delivers A Patient-Centric Approach to Recruitment and Retention for...
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Veristat: Veristat Delivers A Patient-Centric Approach to Recruitment and Retention for Clinical Trials

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Patrick Flanagan, CEO and Shaheen Limbada, Executive Vice President, Global Clinical Operations , VeristatPatrick Flanagan, CEO Delayed clinical trials due to lagging patient recruitment is unfortunately commonplace in the industry. Trials are enormously dependent on not only quantity, but the quality of patients recruited, leaving the success of a program vulnerable if both factors are not equally considered when designing a trial. The COVID-19 pandemic has added a new layer of complexity, requiring a rapid switch from traditional in-process trials to expansion of remote monitoring, and new digital technology. Therefore, companies need cutting-edge, effective patient recruitment strategies to continue to accelerate trials and meet deadlines.

Veristat, a global clinical research organization (CRO) with over 26 years’ experience partnering with start-up to mid-size biotech and pharmaceutical companies, excels in supporting complex trials across a wide range of therapeutic areas. Taking a patient-centric approach, the company is highly innovative and formulates flexible solutions that benefit patients and attracts them to participate in clinical trials. In today’s digital world, patients proactively participate in their health plans and seek information on various diseases and treatments online. Realizing this, Veristat focuses on targeting the potential and intended participants for trials through digital media and online platforms, including patient-centric advertising and branded study websites. Veristat curates highly relevant and appropriate patient populations by leveraging in-house, customized marketing and search engine optimization strategies. These unique to Veristat strategies improve patient recruitment and retention success rates for trials efficiently and cost-effectively.

We are continuously working on advancing the trials in a productive and impactful way unique for each clinical setting to ensure we respond to a highly elevated sense of urgency due to the pandemic and evolving client needs

Study branding tools help build patient catalogs for sites and patients alike. A clear example of this is in placebo studies. Branding became critical for a study Veristat was conducting in moderate to severe COPD patients. The study arms were either active treatment or placebo, leaving patients worried about exacerbation of their indication if they received the placebo and sites uncomfortable with how to address patients’ concerns. “We created a COPD Action Plan, outlining the process by which the site would manage the care of the patient in the event of an exacerbation. Branded materials of the study were presented at the time to consent; overcoming many placebo questions and contributing to an over 200% increase to recruitment in that particular clinical trial,” stated Shaheen Limbada, EVP of Global Operation at Veristat. Additionally, Veristat deployed a digital media strategy coupled with a physician-based call center to raise awareness of clinical trials in nearby areas. Through leveraging their proven site selection strategy, Veristat rapidly started up an additional 35 sites to supplement the overall recruitment approach.

With a robust site selection process, site engagement model, digital media, and a patient-centric approach, patient recruitment increased by 292 percent.
Responding rapidly to the COVID-19 situation and taking a thoughtful scientific approach towards it, Veristat has expanded virtual ecosystems for clients specific to their needs to ensure continuity of ongoing and new clinical trials. The company has developed a “rescue study methodology,” comprised of a series of non-conventional good clinical practice (GCP) compliant tactics for supporting trials. By setting up virtual sites, Veristat ensures the continuity of studies by allowing patients to participate in trials remotely through telemedicine patient portals and at-home visits. Access to the required equipment and medical supplies promptly enabled patients to continue the programs and clients to begin new programs. The company safeguarded patient recruitment throughout the pandemic with its rescue strategies. This included web console technology for staff to interact, patient portals for patients and physicians to communicate via telemedicine, and secure document exchange portals for the collection of study documentation. Applying knowledge from the various COVID-19 trials that they have conducted, Veristat built a center of excellence within the organization to centralize the lessons learned and to leverage the most successful approaches on the different trials to focus the trial activities to achieve the highest enrollment. “We are continuously working on advancing the trials in a productive and impactful way unique for each clinical setting to ensure we respond to a highly elevated sense of urgency due to the pandemic and evolving client needs,” says Patrick Flanagan, CEO at Veristat. Looking ahead, Veristat will continue to expand its footprint globally through acquisition and organic growth. The company is significantly investing in technology and promoting virtual clinical trials or remote approaches for reducing the burden on patients and meeting today’s clinical trials demands.
- Aaron Pierce
    October 07, 2020
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Top 10 Patient Recruitment Companies - 2020

Company
Veristat

Headquarters
Southborough, MA

Management
Patrick Flanagan, CEO and Shaheen Limbada, Executive Vice President, Global Clinical Operations

Description
Veristat is a scientific minded CRO with a full suite of clinical trial and consultation services. Their agile approach and diverse global team allow them to offer customized solutions from consulting to publishing, regulatory support to data base development and of course First Patient First Visit to Last Patient Last Visit, their expertise is diverse

Veristat