#WeWontRest until we speed up innovation to patients

As Senior Medical Director at Lilly Germany, Oliver Bachmann’s mission is to develop innovative medicines and improve health outcomes for as many patients as possible. With Lilly since 2006, he has many years of experience in designing and conducting clinical trials – an essential component in the process of bringing medical innovations to people.

Your pledge “faster enrolment and involvement of patients in clinical trials is key” refers to the importance of drug testing in people to speed up innovation for patients. Why exactly are clinical trials important in the process of new drug development?

Clinical trials are essential to evaluate if and how a drug or therapy works. These lengthy research studies are the backbone of medicine development. They provide key information about a medicine’s safety and effectiveness, and help guide new research and potentially lead to innovative treatments for future generations.

What’s the role of clinical research at Lilly?

Clinical research is key in our commitment to discover innovative treatment options and improve the lives of patients. Ensuring access to new and better drugs has always been the priority for us at Lilly and to achieve this goal, we believe that getting enhanced input and feedback from patients is critical.

What does Lilly Germany’s engagement in clinical trials look like?

Germany is a good location for conducting clinical trials, it’s ranked number 1 in Europe and number 2 worldwide (after the United States). This makes Germany internationally competitive in this field. We are happy to be so well positioned with our research teams. In Germany, we currently conduct about 114 clinical trials on 34 substances. This involves a total of 5491 patients!

In your experience, what motivates people to take part in clinical research studies?

My experience has shown that patients who decide to take part in clinical trials understand that every clinical study participant provides valuable information that potentially helps to improve medical research and knowledge. Many patients just want to help in the development of a medicine that may benefit people in the future. Of course, there are more reasons, for example the chance to receive study-related monitoring for their own health that helps them to better understand their disease. I personally encourage people to take part in clinical trials. They can really make a difference since they become key contributors in the development of potentially lifesaving treatments. Last but not least they may receive access to a potentially beneficial treatment and high-quality care. 

How can more people be motivated to participate in clinical trials?

In my opinion, it is equally important to address individual concerns of enrolled participants as it is to create transparency and improve the public perception of clinical trials through educational campaigns. Raising awareness about clinical trials, increasing education about how they work and encouraging eligible people to participate, are key to accelerate the development of potentially lifesaving treatments.

Can you give an outlook on where the design of medical trials is headed?

At Lilly, we increasingly design clinical studies bearing in mind the concerns and special needs of our participants. This prevents participant dropouts and compliance errors before they put the success of our trials at risk. Looking ahead, one major topic will be the influence of digital health technology in clinical trials. Incorporating digital health into trial designs can speed up enrollment rates, reduce costs and inefficiencies, and enhance patient retention.