10 Clinical Trial Blogs You Should Know About

February 15, 2016

You know what they say. You are what you read. Ok, maybe that’s not what they say. But I’m going to say it.

The kind of information you expose yourself to shapes your personal and professional development. So as someone who wants to be knowledgable about clinical trials, I regularly read blogs of clinical trial experts (among other things).

Here I want to share clinical trial blogs that I’ve found to be valuable in hopes that you find value in them too.

But first, let me go over the criteria I used in defining the scope of selections. You may have a different criteria for the kinds of blogs you want to read, so I want to be clear about what my criteria was.

  • Consistent Publishing – Posts may not necessarily be very frequent, but there is some consistency in publication. If at the time of this writing a blog appears abandoned, it’s not on this list.
  • Informative rather than self-promotional – Blogs that are informative and do not serve primarily to pitch services and products. Also, this preference includes consideration as to whether a blog links out to valuable resources, rather than primarily linking to its website’s interior pages.
  • For clinical trial professionals – There are some great clinical trial blogs with content for patients. There are also great blogs for pharma professionals. But I have to limit the scope to those for clinical trial professionals or this list would become unwieldy.
  • Generally high quality – Enough said.
  • New Information or Unique Perspective – Since I read blogs to learn things, my bias favors blogs that consistently present new information or discuss longtime industry topics in a fresh or insightful manner.

All of these factors were considered when narrowing this list to 10 blogs.

The List of 10 (in no particular order)

And now here is the list (and a bonus at the very end of the post).

  1. Lilly Clinical Open Innovation (LCOI) Blog

Don’t sleep on this one, especially if you are technology and innovation minded.

To quote from the website, “Eli Lilly Clinical Open Innovation is founded on the belief that drug development processes must improve, and that open innovation methods can be used to make clinical development better.”

This blog is the home of the LCOI team, and true to the spirit of openness, it’s a venue where innovation discussions openly occur. The team blogs about a variety of interesting ideas and initiatives that they are exploring.

This blog is also unique in that LCOI has generated interest from patients, who often comment on posts. I find those comments very interesting and enlightening as well.

  1. Applied Clinical Trials Blog

If you believe that variety is the spice of life, the Applied Clinical Trials blog is for you.

In addition to regular posts by the excellent Applied Clinical Trials editor Lisa Henderson, this blog publishes the thoughts of various industry experts. It’s a great space to get a variety of industry news and views in one location.

The focus of this post is clinical trial blogs, but Applied Clinical Trials offers far more than a blog. While you’re checking out the blog, explore their website as well.

  1. Molecules to Medicine (Scientific American)

Judy Stone, MD is the author of Conducting Clinical Research and the blogger behind Molecules to Medicine.

I am always impressed by Judy’s vast knowledge of clinical research and her ability to keep up on the latest scientific and healthcare news. I can not think of a better blogger for Scientific American to have selected as the voice of Molecules to Medicine. Judy’s blogs are always informative and thought provoking.

  1. Placebo Control

Placebo Control is the blog of Paul Ivsin. In Paul’s Twitter bio, he describes himself this way:

“Clinical trial enrollment nerd. I’m not addicted to data — I can quit any time I want.”

After regularly reading Placebo Control, I’d say that’s a pretty accurate characterization. You do get the sense that Paul has a bit of a data addiction, which is awesome for you and I! Paul regularly shares fascinating (and often surprising) data and analysis that is a unique and important contribution to the clinical research discussion.

  1. Lead CRA

Lead CRA is the blog of Nadia, a regional CRA who shares experiences and lessons from her monitoring adventures.

From travel to trial master files to training, Nadia explores any and all topics related to being a CRA. Aspiring or current CRAs will certainly find her blog valuable. But I think non-CRAs should be reading this blog as well. CRAs are critical to trial success, so Nadia’s blog is a valuable glimpse into the realities of being a CRA. I also find that Nadia has a keen understanding of research site perspective and motivation as well.

Nadia recently launched a second blog called Clinical Operations Toolkit, so you should check that out as well.

  1. Geeks Talk Clinical

First, let me just say that I love the name of this blog. Geeks Talk Clinical is the blog of Medidata Solutions, and the name they’ve chosen for the blog lives up to its promise.

As the website says, “Geeks Talk Clinical is the place to talk about, examine and challenge the impact of technology on clinical development.” Here you’ll learn about things like EDC, cloud computing, interoperability, CTMS, and much more. The blog is updated quite regularly with content contributed by 10+ employees.

  1. Ask Cato

Ask Cato is the blog of Cato Research, a full service CRO.

The blog includes a variety of topics, but the content tends to skew towards industry news and regulatory topics. In particular, I find that Ask Cato excels at providing updates and descriptions of newly released FDA guidance.

  1. Quorum Blog

Quorum Blog, the blog of Quorum IRB, is a great space to learn about important and emerging regulatory issues.

This blog often includes answers to common regulatory questions, as well as recordings/slides from webinars. Their webinars, by the way, are great. Quorum seems to have a knack for picking webinar topics that generate a high degree of interest and address important (and often challenging) questions in clinical research.

For example, back in 2011, Quorum did a webinar on the IRB and regulatory issues of social media, which I wrote about here. And then in 2012, Quorum hosted a webinar on electronic informed consent, which I wrote about here and here.

  1. BioMed 2.0

BioMed 2.0 is the blog of the Clinical & Translational Science Institue (CTSI) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). The blog tends to have technology focus, hence the 2.0. Here’s the description on their website:

“We are a technology, communications and research facilitation group, writing about how web and other emerging technologies can foster collaboration and communication to accelerate biomedical research.” The content sometimes strays outside of the scope of clinical trials. Or I should say, it may appear to stray outside the scope of clinical trials. But many of the technologies discussed will shape the clinical trial of the future.

  1. Bioclinica

The Bioclinica blog focuses on a variety of clinical trial technologies, including CDISC, CTMS, EDC, and more.

Like some of the other tech focused blogs on this list, the BioClinica blog is a great spot to learn about current and evolving clinical trial technologies. And because 12+ people within the company contribute to the content, you get access to a variety of expertise on these topics.

A Surprise Bonus Round!

I have one extra special website to share. It’s not a blog per se, but much much more than that.

The aptly named AccrualNet is an online community of clinical trial professionals dedicated to supporting clinical trial accrual.

Here you’ll find strategies, tools, resources, and a community of colleagues devoted to improving patient enrollment. Among AccrualNet’s many offerings is a repository of carefully curated articles related to patient enrollment.

How awesome is that?

Very awesome, as is the team behind it. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Linda Parreco and the rest of the AccrualNet team, and I’m very impressed with what they are doing.

AccrualNet has only been around for a couple of years, but they have made significant progress in cultivating their corner of the Internet. Given the challenges of patient recruitment, they are providing a very important service to the clinical research community.

I urge you to check AccrualNet out and participate in their growing community of clinical research professionals. You’ll be glad you did.

That’s it! Enjoy and I hope these suggestions prove to be of value in your clinical trial endeavors.

Source: bit.ly/1TVPM1sP