Driving Clinical Trial Sustainability in the Time of COVID-19

August 27 2020

Overcoming Logistical Barriers

[1]88% of sponsors and CROs worldwide say that removing financial and logistical barriers that could deter patients from participating in clinical trials is more important now than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you well know, clinical trials have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. Though they did not all come to an end, getting patients to their clinical trial appointments became much more complicated, especially after cross-border travel restrictions were enacted. These travel restrictions posed a particularly great challenge in Europe with numerous countries in proximity.

With these logistical challenges came the need for ingenuity – partnering with a travel provider who can navigate these difficult and uncertain times to ensure sustainability for the trial. This may be best described in the following short story.

In a clinical trial that Greenphire supports, a patient had been traveling from Switzerland over the border to a research site in Germany for a study focused on Acid Sphingomyelinase Deficiency (ASMD). Transportation was being provided via a car service without difficulty – until the pandemic outbreak that is. When a restriction was enacted on the German border to curb the spread of the virus, a more creative approach was needed.

While the patient was allowed to enter Germany per medical exceptions, transportation across the border was not as straight forward. As such, a plan was devised to leverage car service providers in each country, enabling a “hand-off” at the border.

The first car service transported the patient from their home to the Swiss/German border, where the patient disembarked from the vehicle and walked across the border to the second car service awaiting in Germany. The second car then completed the journey to the clinical research site; the reverse scenario occurred on the way back.

The ability of Greenphire, via our ConneX travel service, to leverage the travel networks in these countries helped this patient continue making their appointments during the lockdown. The sponsor was made aware of the special situation and simply needed to approve the costs. The site was kept informed of the plan and received a copy of the itinerary for the patient. The burden of arranging this unique travel situation was removed from the site and patient and both were relieved and thankful that the trial could stay on track.

Thank you for the invaluable service your company provides to cancer patients like me who need to travel for medical treatment, especially now with Covid-19 causing such worry and disruption.” – Patient

In the current clinical trial landscape where new hurdles are being faced, it is critical to find creative solutions. Like the story outlined, there have been many other examples of trials facing challenges in which Greenphire has responded with ingenuity to meet the patient and study requirements. Know that you are not alone, and that there are providers who can help as we are dedicated to streamlining your workflows and navigating the increasing challenges in clinical research.

In my role, it has been personally impactful to know that our work has made a difference for the patients, sites and sponsors involved in clinical trials – especially today. While we don’t know what the future holds, we can assure that through our flexible solutions and service offerings, we can meet your needs from local transportation to complex long distance travel requirements.

If you’re looking to protect patients and keep your trial on-track, contact us to learn more. We’d welcome the opportunity to understand what your challenges have been and how Greenphire can help.

 

[1] July 2020 Survey: COVID-19 Impact on Clinical Trials

Michael Woodard
Senior Manager, Operations & Support
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