Monday, June 18, 2012

Clinical Trial Insights: a different way to identify evaluate new pharma brand experience

I'd like to share a note I received from my friend, Ross Weaver, President and CEO at DDI.

Are you absolutely positive -- not just somewhat positive, but absolutely positive -- there is nothing else that can be done to identify benefits that new products offer? That is a question we asked our R&D folks.

They said 'oh sure', we are positive. We weren't so sure, and had them think about it more.

To the windowless room they went.

To the white boards, pizza and cramped space.

After two weeks, they came back with some newfangled analytical methodology to identify another benefit. Nope. That wouldn't help. What they recommended was simply a re-crunching of the same old data. We told them to re-consider the whole process. Every step of the way.

Back to the white boards, pizza and cramped space. Naturally, with some more assertive stimuli (think 'Slumdog Millionaire'), they had an insight. Instead of a new way to look at old data, they said 'what we need is new data'!

Here is what they came up with:

  • They said, you know, the typical approach is to have the clinical team summarize the findings from the clinical trials.
  • Then, we conduct market research by having physicians who treat patients with the condition review the findings and asking them a bunch of questions.
  • We conduct market research with patients whohave the condition and ask them a bunch of questions
What is missing?

Follow me here. Did anyone actually just ask the people who actually took your new product a bunch of questions about their experience with it? Did anyone just ask the study coordinators (i.e., the nurses at each investigator site who have day-to-day management responsibilities of the study) about their experience with it?

It was one of those 'well, duh' moments! Of course, let's get insights from those who have real experience with the product. Not just those for whom it is all make believe.

We planned to name it the 'unifying theory'. But, someone told us that name was taken. After a few beers and more pizza, we came up with name 'CTI'. CTI stands for clinical trial insights. 'Clinical trial insights' is too many letters, plus it just doesn't sound as cool as 'CTI'.

We started doing CTI studies and, as we had hoped, it did identify some terrific benefits previously uncovered.

For all of you in new products, I'd love to tell you more about CTI.

You will like what you hear.

Contact Ross to schedule a teleconference, web-meeting, or in-person presentation.

Ross H. Weaver, PharmD at

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