Barriers that Restrict Patient Involvement in Drug Development: An Industrial Perspective
Objective: To explore the barriers restricting the implementation of patient involvement in drug development(PIDD)from an industrial perspective and to get insights on knowledge and awareness of pharmaceutical employees around PIDD and its various facets.
Methods: A questionnaire-based survey (n=51) was conducted among the pharmaceutical employees currently working in Research and Development, to seek information regarding barriers pertaining to patient involvement in drug development. The study participants were evaluated for their understanding and awareness around the subject to get insights on the persisting knowledge gaps. The data was analysed descriptively and interpretatively, based on the type of responses obtained.
Results: In the study, 74% of the respondents considered lack of dedicated groups as a likely factor hurdling the execution of PIDD. In addition, a total of 62% of the employees corresponded lack of industrial confidence in patient knowledge and skills to hinder the effective industrial implementation of the concept, while 16% of the participants considered proper representation of patient population for PIDD activities unlikely to cause hurdles. Insights on participant’s knowledge and awareness on PIDD and its support organisation, revealed it to beaverage, considering their close associations with drug development activities. Recommendations for improving the current state of patient involvement in drug development were primarily directed towards enhancing knowledge base around the topic, reforming the current industrial practices to better involve patients and strengthening regulations around PIDD.
Conclusion: Despite increasing efforts from patient organisations in promoting PIDD within industrial practices by empowering patients through trainings and by coming up with recommendations to recognize patients as equal partners in the venture, there still exists barriers that hinder its practicality. Bridging the gap between the conceptual theories and functionalism is necessary and requires identifying the factors posing challenges and overcoming them by establishing means to improve patient involvement. Assessing the value of methods offered for PIDD execution, expanding the population range and utilising information from regulatory database to gain insights on the state of PIDD, allows for further research.