RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – December 22, 2009 – Quintiles today announced it has developed a community of more than 2 million clinically profiled patients who have opted in to volunteer or provide insights and guidance to advance clinical research through its proprietary Web site iGuard.org.
iGuard, launched by Quintiles two years ago, is a personalized medication monitoring service designed to help patients get rapid, personalized safety alerts for their medicines. It has passed the 2 million subscriber milestone and may be the largest single database of clinically profiled, opt-in patients available for clinical research purposes. To put the subscription numbers in context, the popular social media tool Twitter took two years to reach 1.3 million subscribers, according to estimates published by TechCrunch. iGuard matched that rate, even though participants voluntarily provided detailed information about their health and use of prescription medicines.
“As part of the changing landscape in the biopharmaceutical industry, patients are taking control over decision making about their treatments, including whether to participate in clinical trials, as they access a wealth of information on the Web,” said John Ratliff, Chief Operating Officer at Quintiles. “With more than 2 million participants, iGuard gives Quintiles unique access to data that can really inform the way we conduct clinical research.
“We can help our customers identify potential risks before their studies begin, driving productivity and accelerating outcomes. We can rapidly reach out, directly, to patients before deploying a protocol and ask them if they’d like to volunteer to answer a number of questions up front. What percentage of patients with a disease would be eligible? How many of those patients would be interested and willing to participate? The answers to these and other questions help our customers navigate risk inherent in the changing industry landscape we call the new health.”
Quintiles has used iGuard volunteers to test 73 protocols in 2009 and intends to make rapid protocol pre-testing a part of the standard process. In addition, iGuard can be used to assess study specific recruitment material. Patients can draw from their experience to suggest advertising improvements, ways to increase compliance with dosage instructions or more effective steps to keep patients enrolled in studies.
Since the beginning of 2009, more than 73,000 patients from iGuard have assisted Quintiles on more than 92 different clinical studies for diseases as diverse as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and breast cancer. With many patients responding within hours to research requests delivered by email from iGuard, the opportunity has never been greater for patients to positively influence the development of better treatments for their own illnesses.