How to Support Rare Disease Patients During COVID-19

Posted by Michael Thomas on Thu, Mar 26, 2020

Greg Fry co-wrote this blog post with Michael Thomas.

Members of the rare disease community—patients, families and caregivers—are accustomed to managing life in crisis mode, cancelling plans at the first sign of illness and feeling isolated, but the pandemic has introduced a new level of concern. With so much focus on COVID-19, rare disease patients are left with fear and uncertainty over healthcare systems’ bandwidth to accommodate their needs. It’s possible that they could experience critical gaps in care like product shortages, fewer healthcare workers available to administer drugs and difficulty getting to infusion appointments. Unfortunately, the response to many of today’s questions about what the novel coronavirus means for rare disease patients is, “We don’t know, exactly.” But we need to ensure that we’re exploring new alternatives and thinking creatively to develop solutions that either ease these tensions for patients or create bridges that are meaningful, empathetic, supportive and, of course, compliant.


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A Sense of Purpose: The Role of the Field Force During COVID-19

Posted by Chris Morgan on Wed, Mar 25, 2020

Namita Powers, Tania Lennon and Saby Mitra co-wrote this blog post with Chris Morgan.

The most pressing challenge for our society is the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the global population and economy. Protecting the health of the population is the chief priority, and then stabilizing the economy is the next most urgent priority. However, as pharmaceutical companies navigate this challenging landscape, we find that leadership also is grappling with how to keep field teams engaged and productive during this uncertain time. With travel restrictions, bans on community gathering, work-from-home guidance and understandable restrictions on access to healthcare settings, leaders from across the pharma industry are asking some key questions:


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COVID-19 Clinical Development: What's in the Pipeline to Address the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic?

Posted by Kristyn Feldman on Tue, Mar 24, 2020

Parul Rewari, Cody Powers and Judith Kulich co-wrote this blog post with Kristyn Feldman.

As nations around the globe are hit hard by the novel coronavirus pandemic, many are asking the same question: What treatments or preventions are in the pipeline that may address COVID-19? Researchers the world over have launched numerous research, preclinical and clinical-stage programs in an effort to identify vaccines and treatments that can tackle the virus or to find treatments that mediate the downstream effects of the virus.


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Clinical Development Risks and Issues in a COVID-19 World

Posted by Jonathan Rowe on Fri, Mar 20, 2020

Global clinical guidelines have shifted the industry toward risk-based approaches for the planning and execution of clinical trials. The ICH’s guidelines for Good Clinical Practice state that sponsors should evaluate identified risks against existing risk controls by considering “the likelihood of errors occurring, the extent to which such errors would be detectable, and the impact of such errors on human subject protection and reliability of trial results” (ICH E6 R2).


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COVID-19 and Pharma’s In-Person Sales Model

Posted by Pratap Khedkar on Mon, Mar 16, 2020

Daniel Brox co-authored this post with Pratap Khedkar.

As the world continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19, industries of all kinds have little choice but to change on the spot: Educational institutions are quickly transitioning their lessons online and dine-in restaurants are joining the delivery service industry. As measures like lockdowns and social distancing continue to be enforced amid the public health crisis, pharma needs to figure out what that means for the traditional rep-centric model. Putting a stop to in-person physician promotions would reduce traffic across sites of care (for locations that haven’t already restricted access), thereby lowering the spread of disease to healthcare workers, patients and the reps themselves. It’s the responsible thing to do but enforcing a work-from-home mandate—even temporarily—will be challenging. Big disruptions like these are sure to affect everyday business, but they also hold opportunities to rethink existing approaches and try out new ideas.


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