While I am sure the vast majority of this CRO's employees seek only to place the best patient candidates -- in a completely neutral and above-board fashion -- into these myriad FDA-required clinical trials, this drive for "innovation", coupled to a tightly controlled, marketing department driven study design -- will almost inexorably lead to more of these all-too preventable tragedies. [Additional earlier background here.]
In any event, another honcho at Old Merck has landed softly, per the PR NewsWires site-feed:
. . . .Kendle, a leading, global full-service clinical research organization, today announced the appointment of Jeffrey M. Zucker as Senior Director and Global Head, Patient Recruitment. Zucker will provide global leadership for the development and implementation of innovative strategies to accelerate patient recruitment, improve retention and support the timely and efficient delivery of Phase I-IV clinical development programs for the Company's biopharmaceutical customers. . . .
Zucker brings extensive experience from across the biopharmaceutical industry, including management positions focused on site selection and patient recruitment. In his most recent position, he led global trial optimization efforts for Merck & Co. He also has served as Director of Inpatient Operations at CRI Worldwide and as founder and President of Applied Research Trials, a biopharmaceutical consulting firm focused on improving clinical research trials and processes. Zucker has held leadership positions for Eli Lilly, Princeton Biomedical Research and multiple clinical investigative sites. . . .
. . .Innovative patient recruitment strategies in support of investigative sites have earned Kendle consistent recognition as a CRO of choice. . . .
[From Kendle brochures:]
For a Phase III trial across 26 countries Kendle created a proactive optimization strategy to boost recruitment at slow or non-enrolling sites. Kendle’s extensive experience made rapid implementation possible, leading to a 50 percent increase in patient randomizations within one month. . . .
[And this. . .]
Kendle’s global medical writing team has extensive expertise in producing high-quality protocols, Informed Consent Forms, clinical study reports, regulatory submissions with supporting Integrated Summaries of Safety and Efficacy (ISS/ISE), medical manuscripts, abstracts and patient narratives. . . .
I truly believe clinical trials should be about science, not marketing pitches. I hope the FDA (still) agrees.