Increasing patient engagement with UK clinical trials

on demand

Pharmaceutical companies often struggle to actively involve patients in the design phase of clinical trials but doing so can have huge benefits for the sustainability and success of research.

It can help address well established issues with studies, such as patient recruitment and retention, as well as reducing the need for additional trial protocol amendments. Now, patient engagement is becoming even more relevant, with the COVID-19 pandemic heralding a major shift towards remote, virtual and hybrid clinical trial models.

The regulatory issues of how to engage with patient organisations and involve patients in clinical trial design are covered by publications such as the ABPI’s Code of Practice. However, the implementation of these while maintaining compliance with internal company guidelines can prove challenging and can be difficult to navigate without support and guidance.

So, working together with patients, research clinicians and Pfizer, the NIHR has collectively agreed a way in which it can facilitate patient engagement, remain aligned with ABPI and AMRC Codes and help to manage the burden faced by life sciences companies.


This pharmaphorum webinar, held in association with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), takes place on Wednesday 16th December, 11:00 GMT / 12:00 CET and will look at how to navigate the compliance pathway to increase patient engagement with clinical trials.


The webinar will also cover:

  • Building better relationships between pharma/CROs and patient advocates
  • Improving the design of commercial research by listening to the patient voice
  • Gaining patient input on marketing and recruitment materials
  • How the NIHR’s Patient Engagement in Clinical Development service can help

View the webinar* by clicking on the link in the window above or by clicking here.

Our Panel

Sophie Evett is the feasibility lead within the Pfizer Study Optimisation group. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences and a PhD in Molecular Biochemistry from the University of Reading, UK. Having worked for CROs since graduating, Sophie joined Pfizer in 2011 and has had various roles within the UK and now global groups.

Richard Stephens has survived two cancers, a heart emergency, and continued co-morbidities and late effects. He has participated in four interventional studies and nine others. A patient advocate for two decades, Richard has been involved in the design and delivery of over 30 clinical trials and studies, and has sat on many UK and European strategic bodies, including several roles within NIHR. He works with patient groups and advocates globally, with academics and industry, and with researchers and clinicians. An international key opinion former, Richard is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Research Involvement and Engagement, chairs BBMRI-ERIC’s Stakeholder Forum, and chaired the NCRI Consumer Forum 2012-2019.

Keith Wilson Patient AdvocateKeith Wilson is a former heart patient who has worked on a voluntary basis, over many years with various organisations and researchers, promoting Public and Patient involvement to enhance the clarity of documentation and participation in Research. In 2014 Keith was fortunate to become a full-time salaried patient research ambassador at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital Trust. Embedding the patient voice not only in research, but everything they do.

Gareth Powell, Business Development Officer for NIHR Clinical Research NetworkGareth Powell is a business development officer for the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN). Gareth facilitates key discussions between industry and the Clinical Research Network, and is a point of contact for life sciences companies engaging with the Clinical Research Network’s Study Support Service to ensure clinical studies are set up efficiently, and recruit to time and target. Gareth has been with the Clinical Research Network since 2009. Before joining the Business Development and Marketing Team, Gareth previously worked within the Research Delivery Directorate. He was responsible for supporting interactions between the life sciences industry and the NIHR National Speciality Groups across seven therapeutic areas, providing operational support through feasibility, set-up and patient recruitment.

Dominic Tyer, Creative and Editorial Director, pharmaphorumDominic Tyer, interim managing editor, pharmaphorum [moderator] Dominic Tyer is a trained journalist and editor with 19 years of pharmaceutical and healthcare publishing experience. He serves as interim managing editor at pharmaphorum media, which facilitates productive engagement for pharma, bringing healthcare together to drive medical innovation. He is also creative and editorial director at the company’s specialist healthcare content consultancy, pharmaphorum connect.

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