The direct-to-patient (DTP) service, as the name suggests, ships trial drugs to the homes of people taking part in studies with the idea being that reducing the number of visits participants need to make to research sites reduces drop-out and improves compliance.
Almac launched DTP in the US and Canada last year and the decision to roll it out in Europe reflects how popular it has been with customers in North America according to a spokeswoman for the Northern Ireland-based contractor.
She told us the firm has “experienced increasing demand for this service with a number of solid enquiries and live protocols in the US and Canada in the States” but declined to name the customers involved.
The offering – which falls under the remit of Almac’s clinical services group – is being made available in the UK, Germany, Spain, Poland, Italy, Hungary, France, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Belgium and the Netherlands the spokesman continued, explaining that shipping is a two-step process.
“The drug is always shipped to site and then couriered to the patient home from site. Customers can only use the service if they have submitted a DTP request in the study submissions therefore the service can only be used in new studies moving forward.”
Patient-centric clinical trials are a hot topic for sponsors and the contract services sector at the moment.
In April, industry think tank Transcelerate Biopharma said it was using the concept of ‘patient centricity’ and connectivity to influence the clinical trial environment.