Patient and Caregiver Insights Are Key to Improving Adherence 4

Lilly employee Coleman Gerstner presents a concept for improving adherence at the Adherence Summit.

Lilly employee Coleman Gerstner presents a concept for improving adherence at the Adherence Summit.


Savin Pic a 8-2-13The following post is by Ken Savin, Advisor, Clinical Innovation at Eli Lilly and Company. Ken received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1996 and came to Lilly in 1998 from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center as a senior organic chemist. He worked on several projects as a medicinal chemist in the areas of anxiety, depression and inflammatory disorders, and he has been involved in many cross-functional Lilly research collaborations. Some of Ken’s recent efforts include the NASA – Lilly collaboration, an outgrowth of the InnoCentive program and a recent Innovation Day event. Through these programs, he continues to reach out to other organizations internally and externally as part of a broader open innovation effort.

Every day we see some evidence that the culture of medicine is changing. Paternalistic approaches to providing healthcare are becoming less and less acceptable as patients have begun to make good use of the medical information and community support networks available on the Internet. If we, as drug developers, want to provide the best possible care and the best possible medicines, it just makes good sense for us to listen to people and carefully consider what works best from their standpoint.

Adherence, the idea of whether or not a patient is following a treatment regimen as directed, is one of many complex issues within drug development for which we could use more insights from patients and caregivers. It has been estimated that three out of four Americans do not take their medications as prescribed. Even in clinical trials, where adherence rates tend to be relatively high, investigators report average adherence rates of only 43 to 78 percent among patients receiving treatment for chronic conditions. This can lead to poor health outcomes for patients, and unreliable results in a clinical trial.


2013 Disruptive Innovations in Pharma Conference 3

After a quiet summer, I’m looking forward to attending some great conferences in the fall, one of which is Disruptive Innovations in Pharma (DPharm).


What I like about DPharm is that it’s focused on true innovation and real change for the industry. The conference is set up to allow participants to delve deeply into the key strategic factors impeding clinical trial productivity. It also allows a tremendous opportunity to make and grow relationships, which to me, is the most valuable aspect of attending any conference.

It’s been great to connect with people like Tomaz Sablinski of TLC  and  talk about what it really means to disrupt the current drug development model.  I also have benefited from seeing other conference participants share examples of innovations they have tried and are currently trying in their efforts to disrupt clinical trials and advance research.


Patnerships – moving beyond today’s model 6

Over the past month I’ve attended and presented at a couple of conferences.  Partnershipsin in CTsThe first was Partnerships in Clinical Trials, a gather of 1000+ professionals involved in clinical research. The second was the Evolution Summit.  (I’ve included my presentations at both below).

Evolution SummitIt was great to see a number of leaders I’ve come to know and respect including Craig Lipset of Pfizer, Tomasz Sablinski of TLC, and Deirdre BeVard of Endo.  To me, conferences are more about making and growing relationships than they are about specific content.  That said, the highlight of the Partnerships conference for me was a presentation by Eric Topol on disruptive changes in medicine and how this will impact drug development. More…

Time for Partnership 1

Partnership in CTs

It is spring time and that can only mean it is time for partnership.  As in Partnerships in Clinical Trials conference.  Next week, some 1500+ leaders in clinical trials will gather to discuss clinical trial transformation and ways to improve clinical development.  I’m honored to have been invited to speak and share an update on our Lilly COI work.  I’ll also announce an upcoming public challenge so stay tuned!

The need to change the status quo around clinical development to arrive at better treatments for patients has never been greater, and it’s exciting to participate in creating the future of the drug development.

As a preview to the conference, the coordinators selected a few people to highlight and you can hear a short interview on the conference blog site.  I enjoyed sharing not only how an open innovation mindset and implementation can help clinical development but also some thoughts on how my 10 years health care development in Madagascar is parallel to the current pharma challenges.

Conferences like this are great times to decompress from the busy-ness of daily implementation activity.  I’m looking forward to reconnecting with a number of people and meeting new contacts such as Tomasz Slabinski, Nick Dyer, Rahlyn Gossen, and many others.

If you are attending, please reach out to me and I’ll be happy to connect.

I am also honored to have been nominated by industry peers for Clinical Trial Innovator of the Year.  I have great respect for my fellow nominees and look forward to connecting with them again.  The conference should be a great learning and networking opportunity.

See you in Orlando!