Category Archives: Latest News

Global Perspectives™: Obtaining Ethical Approvals Across Europe for Outcomes Research

Over the past 12 months at Global Perspectives, we have obtained a lot of knowledge and experience regarding ethical approvals for market research studies in Europe.

Many of our healthcare clients obtain US IRB approval for their Patient Outcomes and other market research projects. However, they are less certain on what approval is needed around Europe.

Each country in Europe has different rules and regulations regarding when ethical and regulatory approval is needed. From our experience, we can summarise the following:

  • In general, ethical approval in Europe is not needed if it is a market research study and recruitment will not be taking place at clinical sites
  • However, ethical approval may be desired if the research will be subsequently published in a scientific journal
  • Obtaining FEKI approval in Germany is a good option as this is fairly quick and straight forward and recognised in many countries across Europe
  • Other countries such as France may simply require the project to be registered with the relevant regulatory body

For further information on how Global Perspectives can help you obtain Ethical approvals for your healthcare market research studies, please contact Joe Waby at joe@global-perspectives.eu

Global Perspectives™: A short guide to recruiting payers across Europe

Over the past 12 months, we have seen an increased demand from our clients for recruiting and interviewing payers across Europe.

Now that we have completed a numbers of healthcare payer projects, we wanted to share a little of what we have learned:

  • Payers tend to work for drug advisory boards and purchasing committees either at national or regional administrative level, at medical insurers or at local hospitals or clinics
  • Identifying exactly who is a payer and whether you will want to speak to them depends on the regulatory healthcare environment in each country. For example, most of the hospitals in Germany are part of bigger hospital groups where drug purchasing is centrally regulated. In Austria, the Medical Insurer Drug Advisory committees are very policy-relevant at national level.
  • Recruiters must have a good knowledge of the national, regional and local drug purchase decision making process in each country in order to decide who we can target for the study recruitment, and how many participants we could possibly achieve. Determining the recruitment strategy based on previous experiences is specially key for the success of this type of projects.
  • The responsibilities of payers varies according to each country. For example, payers in Spain tend to be associated with each autonomous region. Payers in France can be national or local in scope, but national payers belong to the public administration and are usually not open to being interviewed

We have successfully recruited and interviewed payers in 12 European countries in the past 12 months. We are therefore able to give you advice about your payer project during the planning process.

As we learn more at Global Perspectives™, we will update you. We are currently exploring the payer environment in countries outside Europe such as Russia, Egypt and Thailand.

Please contact Alba Pertierra for more information.

 

Global Perspectives™: Recruitment and validation of patients via social media for market research studies

Social media is a great way to find potential patients for your healthcare market research study, but in order to produce reliable data, patients must first be validated.

Social media is becoming an increasingly fruitful way to recruit patients for market research studies. Social media gives us a fantastic opportunity to communicate directly with large numbers of patients through their smartphones which they carry around with them every day.

At Global Perspectives™ we recognise the importance of process and validation during the social media recruitment process. This enables us to minimize risk and ensure that patients are who we think they are.

Global Perspectives™ are here to help you recruit patients via social media quickly, accurately and reliably.

Recruitment methods and process

Patients of all kinds, including hard-to-reach patients often use social media to help find information and support for their disease or condition. This allows us to target and find patients for market research surveys in a number of different ways.

Via patient association social media pages

Global Perspectives™ have agreements with many patient associations around the world. Patient associations will post information about the project on their social media pages (usually Facebook and sometimes on their own website community pages). Patients will be prompted in the advert to contact either the recruiter or the patient association to register their interest in the study. The recruiter will then call the patient to go through the screening process.

Via social media targeted advertising

Global Perspectives™ have the ability to target patients via Facebook adverts that appear on the patients’ Facebook homepage. The advert appears on the page of those people who have been searching or talking about a certain disease recently. For example, in a recent project, we recruited 10 Hodgkin Lymphoma patients in the UK by advertising on the Facebook pages of people who had searching in Google for Hodgkin Lymphoma or who have liked pages about Hodgkin Lymphoma on Facebook. We can also select patients according to their geography.

Validation of patients

Whichever way we find patients, it is essential to be able to validate patients to ensure that they are who they say they are.

Recruiter validation

All patients who show an interest in the project via social media are screened by an experienced professional healthcare recruiter. This gives a chance for the recruiter to discuss the project with the respondent. We also recommend that the recruiter goes through the screening questions with the respondents so we can ensure that the respondent meets the eligibility criteria. This holds true even when recruiting for online surveys.

Closed survey links

We do not recommend posting open online survey links on social media. This can be seen as an invitation for fraudulent behaviour, not by the patients, but by other members of the social media platform who are attracted by the survey incentives. Using an open survey link means that anyone in the world can complete the survey and any resulting data cannot be trusted. We recommend using social media to find patients, but then sending a unique survey link to validated patients via email.

Disguised screeners

Whatever way we validate patients, we must ensure that respondents cannot guide the eligibility criteria in the screening questions. If a wide range of potential respondents are invited to complete the screening section then it is important that the screener is disguised to ensure that a respondent cannot guess what options they need to pick in order to become eligible for the survey. If we cannot disguise the official screener then sometimes we will use a pre-screener as part of the social media selection process.

Confirmation of diagnosis

Increasingly, clients are asking Global Perspectives™ to obtain confirmation of diagnosis from patients when recruiting them for market research studies that later will be published in a scientific journal. This is an excellent way of ensuring that patients are eligible for the survey and that all resulting data will be valid. Exactly how we do this depends on the patient group, but it can be done in a number of ways:

  • Asking patients to take a validation of diagnosis note to their nurse or physician so that it can be signed by then
  • Recruiting via physicians who also agree to validate the diagnosis of their referred patients (with patient consent)
  • Asking patients to take a photo of their medication
  • Any other proof of diagnosis such as Doctor visit summary printouts or a screenshot of their healthcare patient portal

Semi-automated validation

At Global Perspectives™, we are working on a semi-automated validation process for when recruiting patients via social media. This process may be similar to that used by online panel companies to validate their panel members and may use tools such as “respondent profile checks” by comparing a respondent’s social media profile to a profile questionnaire. We expect to have more details about this later in the year.

Social media is just one of the recruitment strategies that Global Perspectives™ use to recruit patients around the world. We are here to help our clients decide whether to use social media recruitment for any particular project, and if so, the best way of reaching and validating those patients. Please contact Joe Waby for more information.

SOPs at Global Perspectives

Over the past few years, we have made SOPs a priority here at Global Perspectives.

We have seen how Standard Operating Procedures and Study Protocols form an integral part of our healthcare clients´projects, and as the global patient and HCP recruitment expert, our procedures must be aligned to our clients´expectations.

As we have grown at Global Perspectives, we have also seen a need to be able to communicate and formalize our high quality standards to our growing team of Project Managers and Local Experts, to ensure that our research is always high quality, no matter who is involved in the project across the world.

For that reason, an SOP plan is implemented for each and every project managed at Global Perspectives:

  • The Global Perspectives Master SOPs are developed by Project Team Director by listening to our clients needs, studying industry regulations and analysing the Project Management process
  • Our Project Managers are thoroughly trained on our SOPs and follow them for each and every project
  • The Project Managers brief and train Local Experts on specific SOPs for each and every project, meaning that everyone, from Project Manager, to recruiter, moderator and translator, is following the same SOPs
  • Project Managers feed back to the Project Team Director for continuous improvement to the SOPs

For complete transparency, we are happy to share our SOPs with all our clients – and we look to improve our SOPs based on client feedback.

If you would like to see the latest copy of our SOPs then please contact Joe Waby at joe@global-perspectives.eu

Global Perspectives™ – Health State and Time Trade-off Surveys to determine Quality of Life

At Global Perspectives™, we are becoming very experienced at undertaking health state and trade-off surveys across multiple countries among the general population and certain patient groups.

We have undertaken 15  TTO projects in the past 2 years in 9 different countries, using both lead-time methodology and the standard TTO approach.

The key to the success of these projects is in the training of the interviewer teams and monitoring of the resulting interview data. It is essential that interviewers are very comfortable with the TTO methodology and can guide and prompt respondents in the correct way to help achieve a maximum proportion of valid interviews.

The procedure we recommend is:

  1. All interviewers take place in a training call led by the client – we recommend the client leads this call, as each TTO methodology is slightly different. Global Perspective’s™ Project Manager will also take part in this training. A TTO interviewing team should be made up of 4-5 experience market research interviewers
  2. The GP Project Manager then undertakes a second training call, focusses on role play and comprehension testing to ensure that the interviewers know exactly what they should be doing during the interviews
  3. We check the data after the first day of interviews, say on the first 10 records and the client checks the data to make sure it looks like the respondents and interviewers are following the TTO interview script correctly and that the respondent is making logical choices between the health states
  4. If all is good, then the remaining 90 interviews take place
  5. A similar check is then done on all 100 records to see whether any respondents need replacing
  6. As we continue to manage TTO projects in certain countries then we try to use the same interviewer teams so that they can build on their previous experience and training

As Global Perspectives™ are experts in patient recruitment, we can either recruit members of the general population or specific patient groups to take part in the TTO interviews.

For more information, please contact Sonia López.

Confirmation of diagnosis for HEOR surveys

Increasingly, clients are asking Global Perspectives™ to obtain confirmation of diagnosis from patients when recruiting them for market research studies that later will be published in a scientific journal.

We have had a lot of success in confirming the diagnosis of patients. Exactly how we do this depends on the patient group, but it can be done in a number of ways:

  • Asking patients to take a validation of diagnosis note to their nurse or physician so that it can be signed by then
  • Recruiting via physicians who also agree to validate the diagnosis of their referred patients (with patient consent)
  • Asking patients to take a photo of their medication
  • Any other proof of diagnosis such as Doctor visit summary printouts or a screenshot of their healthcare patient portal

In 2016, we had a lot of success which such studies, especially in the USA, and increasing we are being asked to provide confirmation of diagnosis in Europe too.

For more information, please contact Diana de la Puente.