Ensuring sites stay top of mind: SCRS president talks goals, industry evolution
Selected by SCRS’ late founder and president, Christine Pierre, who passed away from ocular melanoma in October 2018, Orvin brings nearly two decades of experience to the organization.
Orvin most recently worked at Synexus Site Network Services, where he was the vice president of business development, a role in which he worked closely with 180 trial sites around the globe.
After settling into his new position, Outsourcing-Pharma (OSP) caught up with Orvin (CO) to discuss his views on the past and future of the industry.
OSP: What do you hope to achieve as the new president of SCRS?
CO: The work that SCRS has achieved under Christine Pierre’s leadership is remarkable, and my ultimate goal is to continue her pioneering work in the clinical research space. The SCRS mission to unify the voice of the global clinical research site community for greater site sustainability is incredibly important.
As SCRS’ president, I will ensure that sites stay in the forefront of the minds of sponsors and CROs so that we can continue working together to improve the patient’s journey in clinical trials.
SCRS will also utilize this year to really bring attention to the benefits of SCRS membership so that we can expand our positive impact on the industry.
OSP: How will your experience in the industry help you take on these goals?
CO: Having been in the clinical research industry for nearly 20 years, I understand how important quality relationships between sites and sponsors/CROs/solution providers are. It is imperative that we prioritize positive working relationships from the very beginning.
If we want to continually enhance our ability to bring quality medicines to patients faster, we’ve got to work together from the very start, starting with the strategy of a study.
I have seen firsthand how difficult study start-up can be when strategies are siloed, and I’ve also seen how smoothly things can go when sites are involved early on.
OSP: What has been the biggest change in the industry since you began working?
CO: It is integral that sites have a seat at the table as equal partners with the rest of industry. When I first started working in clinical research in the early 2000’s, sites were viewed somewhat as an afterthought. Sponsors and CROs did not understand the benefit of involving sites from the very beginning of the clinical trial process.
A lot of strategy was put in place to determine how many sites and patients were needed for a study without any input from the organizations that were actually conducting the study – the sites.
Thanks in large part to Christine Pierre’s work and the Society for Clinical Research Sites’ emergence in 2012, the sites’ voice has begun to be heard and incorporated into strategies regarding how studies are enrolled.
OSP: Over the next year, what do you hope will be the next big change?
CO: Whether it’s telemedicine, electronic payments for patients or something similar, technology is changing our industry, and the potential for it to have an incredible positive impact is there if we not only embrace it but work to stay ahead of the curve. SCRS’ responsibility here is to do our part in preparing our member sites to embrace these technologies.
OSP: In five years?
CO: It’s hard to predict what will be happening in the next five years. What I do know is that SCRS will continue to be at the forefront of whatever direction industry heads in, and will ensure that sites are proactively engaged, aware, open-minded, and able to adjust to whatever the future of clinical research holds.
OSP: What keeps you up at night?
CO: Ensuring that SCRS is providing our members with the absolute best tools they need to better their sites and improve their contribution to getting better medicines to patients faster is always top of mind for me.
Whether we do that by providing financial education, information on upcoming technology, resources to help sites build an impeccably-trained team, or any of the other features SCRS offers, what keeps me up at night is guaranteeing that SCRS is always increasing our contribution to the sustainability of the global site community