Now more than ever, clinical trial sponsors have options for managing patient related travel, accommodations and expenses. However, the vendors providing these services are very different and come to the table with varying travel experience. Colpitts Clinical began 15 years ago as a division of a global travel management company and was a pioneer in providing patient travel services. Since then we have seen other businesses starting to offer travel services for medical research, but what they lack is deep-rooted travel experience. In many cases travel is outsourced, so there is little financial advantage and transparency to the trial sponsor. And ultimately, it’s the patients who pay the price of inadequate travel management.
As in every industry, there are certain nuances and things that travel specialists come to learn about specific vendors that all play a role in which we choose to book with for clinical patients.
“We’re homegrown from the travel world,” says Senior Vice President Jeff Brown. “We spend a tremendous amount of time getting to know the resources available from each vendor.”
Patients involved in clinical trials often require special accommodations, or have medical conditions that can make travel particularly stressful and uncomfortable. A travel service provider that does not have an extensive background dealing with custom itineraries and bookings may not think that a trial patient who requires a wheelchair could be stopped by certain airlines that do not permit wheelchairs with lithium batteries. Similarly, a flight crew that is unaware of a child’s medical condition that causes hyperactivity may not know how to handle the situation in mid-air. Colpitts Clinical has more than a decade of working with vendors to ensure that they have advance notice about travelers who need accommodations throughout their journey, and everything runs much smoother when we’re able to work with our vendors directly to sort out these special cases ahead of time, without compromising the patient’s comfort.