Home from the Investigator’s Meeting

I’ve been assigned another study and attended a kickoff and Investigator Meeting on the East Coast last week. As I mentioned in my last post, an Investigator’s Meeting is basically a chance to get all the doctors and staff together at one venue with the sponsor (usually a fancy hotel or somewhere fun) so that all the details of the study protocol can be reviewed and everyone’s questions get answered. Also, because a lot of money is spent at these meetings to woo, wine, and dine the Principal Investigators (PIs), the meeting has the bonus effect of getting everyone psyched up and excited/competitive about enrolling in the study.

For my new study (it is a high cholesterol drug therapy study) I will have 11 sites each of which needs to be visited at least every 4 weeks depending on enrollment. There are 60 PIs total and 4 other CRAs but I am the only one on the West Coast. I am lucky that 7 of my sites are located near one another in LA so I can combine my visits into longer trips and not have to fly so often. I also have 2 sites in Phoenix, a site in Seattle, and a site 1.5 hrs drive East of my house. In any case, this is a heavy site load but luckily it is a straightforward study and the PIs seem to be both experienced and motivated.

Electronic Patient Diary
An electronic patient diary looks just
like a little PDA and the patient gets
an alarm to remind them it is time
to take their medicine or fill out a
little outcomes summary. This data
gets sent in via the telephone or
loaded into a computer and is used
in the study analysis.

The trial leverages some cool technology such as an electronic data capture system (so CRFs go into the computer in an EDC system rather than on triplicate forms) and the patients all get electronic diaries (little palm pilot devices) so they can capture adverse events and be reminded when it is time to take their medicine, plus the medicine (Investigational Product – IP) comes in blister packs one week at a time, so drug accountability should be a cinch thanks to this clever packaging. This is a proof of concept study so there are 6 different study arms (some patients get placebo, some get the real drug, some get a mix of both…) and only 275 subjects will be enrolled. The subjects take their meds for around 7 weeks. Recruitment is anticipated to end in mid-April so it is a really short enrollment period. The Inclusion exclusion criteria are very tight so a high number of screen failures are expected (up to 800). Luckily, screen failures will not get their own casebooks but just be captured in the Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) web portal.

In my next post I will tell you more about how to prepare for a CRA interview and what types of questions you can expect to be asked. Then I will post about Routine Monitoring Visits, as promised. Let me know if there are other topics that are of interest to you by emailing me or leaving me a comment here and I will be sure to address them in future posts.

About The Author

The Lead CRA

Nadia started The Lead CRA blog in 2007. She is now lead author for ClinOps Toolkit. Nadia is currently working as a Clinical Program Manager at a small specialty pharmaceutical company in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can reach Nadia via email at [email protected] anytime.

1 Comment

  • Anonymous

    January 27, 2010

    It is very interesting for me to read that article. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. BTW, try to add some pics :).

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