Patient Services for a Phase III Mantle Cell Lymphoma trial
Providing global reimbursement, stipend and travel support services to patients and caregivers participating in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, France, Greece and Poland.
The symptoms of Mantle Cell Lymphoma are similar to those of most other types of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and include painless swelling mainly in the neck, armpit and groin, where each swelling is an enlarged lymph node.
Mantle Cell Lymphoma is a rare type of B cell Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). It affects only 5 to 10% of the population diagnosed, and mainly men over the age of 50. The symptoms of Mantle Cell Lymphoma are similar to those of most other types of NHL, and include painless swelling mainly in the neck, armpit and groin, where each swelling is an enlarged lymph node. Mantle Cell Lymphoma is considered an aggressive, fast-growing type of NHL.
Many of the patients identified by sites as candidates for this study faced geographical barriers to attend visits at the study site. Patients who reside in rural areas or do not have access to transportation would have difficulty attending study visits and maintaining and participating in critical study activities and endpoints, as they relate to the study visit schedule.
Most patients are not well enough to attend study visits alone, therefore require caregiver or legal guardian support. The COVID-19 pandemic created even more challenges, as this subset of patients fall under the ‘high risk’ category. Symptoms of this disease include fever, nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite and weight, pressure or pain in the lower back, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes that can make travel difficult and often uncomfortable.
Identifying and maintaining patients on this trial is imperative, as this rare type of lymphoma only affects only 5 to 10% of the population diagnosed with NHL. All considerations were reviewed to ensure patients who enrolled were retained on the study until completion.
Our remarkable service offering included:
- Patient support services and communications provided in patient’s local language
- Comfortable and safe travel arrangements tailored to each patient’s needs
- Transportation from study site to imaging labs and back again
- Swift stipend and reimbursement payments in local currencies for any out-of-pocket expenses that may be incurred during the journey
- Flexible travel arrangements by in-house Travel Team to support any last minute requests or updates to scheduled itineraries
- Direct payment to French taxi companies so sites do not bear administrative burden
Patients feel safe and cared for throughout their journey, and the consistency of their experience is what contributed to their ultimate study completion.
Even during a global pandemic, patients are transported safely, arrive on-time and never miss a single appointment. This also reduces the strain on patients and their families by organising transfers, flights, accommodation and reimbursements.
Recognising the age and health needs of the patient population involved in this trial, we opted to personally contact patients and their carers by telephone. Our Russian team can speak to the patients in their local language while all other patients in Europe are looked after by our multilingual team based in the UK and the US.
Patients receive reimbursements via our patientprimary Mastercard or bank transfer at their preference. Many of the countries we are supporting, such as Hungary and Russia, do not provide us with bank details and have found the reimbursement process using our reloadable Mastercards to be extremely easy and efficient. Patients can log-in to check the balance of the card and check that any funds have been received. We can even assign the cards to their caregivers or designated family members. For other countries, such as Greece, we upload the funds for the patients in advance, offering “a stipend” which allows them to attend their appointments without the need to worry about financial constraints. Whilst an element of patient trust is involved, this has worked well and ensures patients can continue in the trial.
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