A medical affairs team wanted to obtain feedback about emerging treatment options for a type of cancer, and possible long-term patient benefits of the treatments, from physicians based in countries in the Middle East region. The team required input on various topics:
- Patient pathways, including national guidelines, diagnostic platforms, and treatments used throughout the disease, including hospital-based treatment protocols
- Recognized international treatment guidelines versus real-world practice of treating different types of the disease in the Middle East region
- Impact of new treatment options on local treatment guidelines and protocols
- Impact of treatment outcomes on patients in daily clinical practice in the Middle East region
- Evaluate therapies used to treat the disease from clinical and medico-economic perspectives to optimize patient access to treatment in the region
The medical affairs team opted to hold an over-time virtual advisory board on the Within3 online engagement platform. During the 15-day session, physician advisors answered 26 questions divided among three topic areas: disease state background, treatment discussion, and practical management of patients. The questions included both open-ended and single-choice types. Questions in the session included What is the incidence and prevalence of this disease in your country? and What patient-reported outcomes are most relevant to your practice?
Advisors were able to log into the session at their convenience, from any connected device, and view a pre- recorded orientation video. Physicians engaged colleagues by tagging them in comments or responses, and periodic emails prompted the advisors to answer questions or provide more information. After the virtual session closed, the advisors participated in a live Q&A session to confirm the results of the over-time meeting.
All of the contracted advisors fully participated in the session, and due to a highly engaged moderator, the medical affairs team was able to gain consensus on several topics:
- Frequency of receiving blood transfusions for patients
- Usage of specific therapies assuming access in the patient population
- Meaningfulness of data concerning a specific drug
- Data to change current management strategies, with patients to be considered as candidates for a specific therapy