9 July 2019

Improving access to innovative treatments: A patient centred approach

Conducting clinical trials is complex, time-consuming and expensive. But it is vital if patients are to benefit from new medicines and healthcare innovations.

IQVIA and UCLPartners have collaborated as one of only four IQVIA Prime Sites in the UK, and 39 Prime Sites globally. Prime Sites are high-performing clinical trial centres which enable trial sponsors to connect with patients more quickly and accelerate medicines to market. Trials conducted through Prime Sites bring benefits to patients, clinicians, NHS organisations and trial sponsors, including rapid access to new therapies; better quality of care; improved patient outcomes; and faster, more efficiently delivered trials.

Researcher in lab
Working in collaboration with IQVIA as a Prime Site has enabled more patients under the care of local NHS Trusts to access new treatments earlier, improving their healthcare outcomes. It also allows our staff to be at the forefront of scientific innovation, developing their skills and enhancing their understanding of disease.Dr Charlie Davie, Managing Director, UCLPartners

The Challenge

Evidence shows that hospitals that are research active have lower mortality rates than those that are not – this effect is not limited to research participants.   

Today, it costs nearly £1.5bn to bring a new medicine to market and this continues to increase.   Phase III clinical trials are getting longer and most costly, and nearly 80%experience delays, mainly due to patient recruitment challenges.

To address these challenges IQVIA created the clinical research Prime Site model.

The Approach

Over the last decade, IQVIA has developed strategies to deliver more trial patients from fewer, high-performing sites to maximise recruitment and minimise quality issues.

Prime sites connect healthcare providers with IQVIA to support the delivery of medical innovation and research with the overall goal of driving better health outcomes, access and cost.  IQVIA currently conducts 20%of all commercial clinical trials within the NHS, 35%of which is through their UK Prime Site network.

UCLPartners is one of four IQVIA Prime Sites in the UK. Through the UCLPartners Prime Site and its NHS partners, IQVIA can place interventional and observational clinical trials across all therapeutic areas and clinical indications. consistently delivering to time, target and to a high level of quality.

UCLPartners is one of our most successful Prime Site globally. Working in partnership, we have enabled thousands of patients to access new medicines and treatment through participating in clinical trials, over the last ten years. Justin Watts, Senior Director, Strategic Site Solutions, NEMEA & CESE, IQVIA

IQVIA-UCLPartners Prime Site

In the decade since the IQVIA-UCLPartners Prime Site was established:

  • The Prime site has made world leading contributions to studies across all phases of clinical research from Phase I studies of new chemical entities, through Phase 2 and Phase 3 studies to establish efficacy and in long term Phase 4 Real World studies of the impact of drug and healthcare improvements on the population.
  • IQVIA has provided 360 clinical trial opportunities to NHS partner sites for consideration and delivery
  • 5000 patients have been recruited to IQVIA clinical trials, providing access to new novel medications
  • Patients across a broad range of therapeutic areas and indications have been recruited to clinical trials
  • Processes have been optimised to enable clinical trials to start as quickly as possible
  • Delivery of high-quality data from hundreds of clinical trials
  • Focus on site and patient experience

The Clinician View

“The trial approval process in the UCLPartners region meant that we were able to set up our study quickly and efficiently at Barts. With the help of IQVIA, we were able to use novel recruitment initiatives from the beginning. Being a Prime Site means that we benefit from dedicated support from IQVIA to remove hurdles and help deliver studies to time and target. It also helps to raise awareness of the study amongst the local healthcare community and patients. We have managed to achieve our recruitment target for this study ahead of schedule, something I don’t think would have been possible without the Prime Site status.”

Dr Manish Saxena, Barts Hospital, UK Chief Investigator on CLEAR OUTCOMES, an IQVIA multinational study for of a statin alternative for patients at high risk of cardiovascular events

The Patient View

“I joined the trial after seeing it advertised in my GP surgery. I knew it would be safe as it was supported by the NHS. I spoke to the doctor treating me in the hospital and was put on the trial. I found the whole process straightforward. There was always someone available to answer my questions the staff kept me informed about what to expect. I felt supported for the whole time.”

Mary Salim, Clinical Trial Participant

The Benefits of Prime Site Designation

Benefits to Patients: 

  • Evidence shows that patients cared for in research-active NHS organisations have better outcomes than those cared for by NHS organisations which do not participate in clinical research.
  • By participating in a clinical trial, patients may have access to a new medicine which has not been commissioned by the NHS.
  • Being treated in a Prime Site – such as UCLPartners – allows patients greater access to a wider volume of trials and treatments across a range of therapy areas.

Benefits to Clinicians:

  • By engaging with clinical trials clinicians can get early awareness of – and access to – novel medicines thathave not been commissioned by the NHS.
  • The high volume of research opportunities allows clinicians to engage in the medicine development process and enhance their own learning and development.

Benefits to NHS Organisations

  • By engaging with trials, NHS organisations have an early view of what treatments are being developed, enabling them to plan budgets and services.
  • Clinical trial participation improves the patient experience, and reduces the variability of care, which are priorities for the NHS.
  • Aligning processes leads to a reduction in bureaucracy and improves the speed of study set up which in turn increases the number of trial opportunities coming to the UK.
  • Prime Sites have access to an IQVIA relationship manager working to facilitate the research delivery process.

Benefits to Trial Sponsors

  • By working with IQVIA, trial sponsors are able to achieve more reliable delivery in terms of study start-up and patient recruitment
  • Trial sponsors have access to a range of medical expertise and therapeutic expertise in one location within a Prime Site.
  • Via the Prime Sites IQVIA has introduced stakeholders from Genomics England to form a world leading collaboration on genomics, allowing trial sponsors to include genetic elements in their research, such as whole genome mapping.

Conducting clinical research also benefits the wider economy; a recent report estimated that clinical research activity conducted within the NIHR Clinical Research Network infrastructure in the period April 2014 to March 2015 (FY 2014/15) helped to generate a total of £2.4 billion of gross value added (GVA) and almost 39,500 jobs.

The Next Steps

To overcome the challenges faced in the delivery of clinical trials, IQVIA plan to collaborate with Prime Sites to fully harness the power of site data to enable clinical trial delivery. Data driven site selection and patient enrolment will be introduced. These solutions will use de-identified data to more easily pinpoint sites with under-served patient populations and help clinicians to improve patient outcomes by identifying gaps in their trial portfolio versus available trials.