Improving Cardiovascular Drug and Device Development and Evidence Through Patient-Centered Research and Clinical Trials: A Call to Action From the Value in Healthcare Initiative's Partnering With Regulators Learning Collaborative.
The pipeline of new cardiovascular drugs is relatively limited compared with many other clinical areas. Challenges causing lagging drug innovation include the duration and expense of cardiovascular clinical trials needed for regulatory evaluation and approvals, which generally must demonstrate noninferiority to existing standards of care and measure longer-term outcomes. By comparison, there has been substantial progress in cardiovascular device innovation. There has also been progress in cardiovascular trial participation equity in recent years, especially among women, due in part to important efforts by Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, and others. Yet women and especially racial and ethnic minority populations remain underrepresented in cardiovascular trials, indicating much work ahead to continue recent success. Given these challenges and opportunities, the multistakeholder Partnering with Regulators Learning Collaborative of the Value in Healthcare Initiative, a collaboration of the American Heart Association and the Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy at Duke University, identified how to improve the evidence generation process for cardiovascular drugs and devices. Drawing on a series of meetings, literature reviews, and analyses of regulatory options, the Collaborative makes recommendations across four identified areas for improvement. First, we offer strategies to enhance patient engagement in trial design, convenient participation, and meaningful end points and outcomes to improve patient recruitment and retention (major expenses in clinical trials). Second, new digital technologies expand the potential for real-world evidence to streamline data collection and reduce cost and time of trials. However, technical challenges must be overcome to routinely leverage real-world data, including standardizing data, managing data quality, understanding data comparability, and ensuring real-world evidence does not worsen inequities. Third, as trials are driven by evidence needs of regulators and payers, we recommend ways to improve their collaboration in trial design to streamline and standardize efficient and innovative trials, reducing costs and delays. Finally, we discuss creative ways to expand the minuscule proportion of sites involved in cardiovascular evidence generation and medical product development. These actions, paired with continued policy research into better ways to pay for and equitably develop therapies, will help reduce the cost and complexity of drug and device research, development, and trials.
Warner, JJ; Crook, HL; Whelan, KM; Bleser, WK; Roiland, RA; Hamilton Lopez, M; Saunders, RS; Wang, TY; Hernandez, AF; McClellan, MB; Califf, RM; Brown, N; American Heart Association Partnering with Regulators Learning Collaborative*,
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