Using Social Media to Improve Oncology Clinical Development and Recruitment
July 17, 2014
Patient recruitment is one of the biggest challenges facing companies involved inoncology clinical development.
For companies using social media, a Clinipace survey found that 54% of respondents believe online communities and advocacy groups are their most valuable channels for enrolling patients in oncology clinical trials. One such community is PatientsLikeMe – a social media site where patients meet to share stories, learn about treatment options and even input their own real world data (RWD).
Companies such as Sanofi and Genentech have partnered with PatientsLikeMe to gain access to a wide range of oncology patients (among other therapeutic areas). This set-up is a win-win for all parties: patients learn about relevant clinical trials, and companies can get the patient enrollment they need. It’s a no-brainer, right?
Well, as with everything in pharma, there are always precautions. Social media may put patient privacy — and trial integrity — at risk if companies and patients are not careful. Ken Getz, who led a Tufts study on social media and clinical trials, suggests that informed consent could encourage patients to be mindful of what they disclose online during clinical trials.
For those pharma organizations that are still hesitant to enter the social media landscape, the American Society of Clinical Oncology posted a Practical Guidance on using social media for various oncology practices – including clinical trials. With these guidelines in mind, pharma can jump into social media and reach out to oncology patients looking for clinical trials.