Melissa Easy

“Technology makes our lives easier, but it doesn’t replace people” – Melissa “Liss” Easy

The dynamic, engaging Melissa “Liss” Easy is the Founder of clinical operations technology provider DrugDev, which is now part of IQVIA.

Early in her career Liss was consulting to a Contract Research Organization and became frustrated by inefficiencies in matching investigators to pharma protocols.

She started DrugDev to bring sponsors and investigators together by focusing on the needs of the doctors, giving them better technologies and service and more open communication.

The DrugDev network Liss began now hosts over 85,000 active investigators in 120 countries in addition to profile and experience information for 450,000+ investigators from 85 pharma and biotech companies. And, DrugDev has expanded to offer a suite of clinical operations solutions used on nearly 2,000 clinical trials.

Liss’s honors include being named one of the PharmaVOICE 100 most influential people in life sciences; winning the Partnerships in Clinical Trials Woman of the Year award; and, being named to the a Philadelphia Business Journal Healthcare Innovator.

Liss is an extraordinary example of how radical change is creating a new phase in clinical research.

I hope you’ll enjoy hearing this extraordinary woman’s perspective on how technology can fundamentally change clinical trials and global healthcare for the better.

About This Podcast Episode

Listen to it on iTunes.
Stream by clicking here.
Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”

Selected Links from the Episode

DrugDev
Society of Clinical Research Sites
Why Isn’t Your CRO Using E-Consent?
Exl Events
Investigator Database Bank connecting investigators with sponsors and CROs
LastPass, an amazing password management tool
SCRS Summit

Books

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Show Notes:

[02:20] Making new pharmaceutical products available to patients who need them sooner

[03:38] Making the leap from advertising and marketing 

[05:10] Disney to Drugs

[06:23] Working on large deals at a CRO and pulling people together from different departments

[07:24] Creating like a LinkedIn for investigators and sponsor companies  

[08:26] Moving away from contacting physicians via faxes to contacting them via email

[08:50] Is there legal or regulatory reason as to why you can’t do this in clinical research?

[10:19] Reaching out to people your network, asking people what they want and questioning assumptions 

[11:02] Electronic patient consent

[13:52] Fostering site and industry collaborations via the Investigator Database Bank

[15:09] How to make sites lives easier? 

[16:22] Process for developing strategic partnerships with other organizations 

[18:09] Everyone wants experienced investigators, but if no one gives them that first chance 

[20:28] Advice for start-up founders 

[21:47] Choosing and attending conference 

[22:52] What are we doing in the 21st century that we must stop doing right now and get ready to change? 

[29:42] User experience, doing everything just once, and batching tasks 

[30:34] Once the site is activated, don’t expect them to magically come up with patients 

[32:10] Ensuring you have a steady study pipeline as a clinical trial site 

[35:48] Is joining a site network worth it? 

[40:04] Getting started with new software technologies and importance of staff training 

[42:20] If you hire someone to do some work, you have to trust them 

[43:57] Hiring people 

[46:17] People underestimate how hard it is to manage people remotely 

[47:43] Building relationships, genuine relationships and being interested in people 

[49:46] You should listen to people, whether they be more senior or junior than you 

[54:00] Being a female, there are some additional challenges that you can have in the workplace 

[55:22] Subscribing to newsletters and attending conferences 

[57:55] Advice to her younger self



QUESTION: What was your favorite lesson from this episode?

Leave me a comment below and thanks for listening.

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