#CTSM: A Conversation With @LillyTrials

In our next #CTSM (Clinical Trials Social Media) Tweetchat we host a conversation with our featured guest, @LillyTrials.

The @LillyTrials Twitter handle—an official Twitter feed of @LillyPad (Eli Lilly and Company)—is more than just an avatar. An actual person, Leigh Anne Naas, posts information and interacts with people.

@LillyTrials is the brainchild of the late and much beloved Jerry Matczak, a silo-busting pharma pioneer who believed in true connections between people, and strived to include patients and other stakeholders in the most meaningful ways.

We asked Leigh Anne a few questions ahead of the tweetchat:

Tell us a little about @LillyTrials, and in particular, what makes your initiative unique?

The @LillyTrials account has been active in social media for 5-6 years now (we originally operated under the handle @Lilly_COI but changed handles in early 2016, to make it clearer what our topic of discussion are).

We may be unique in pharma (or, at least, we are certainly among a rare few) to use social media as a place of actual interaction and conversation. With a lack of guidance from the US FDA on the use of social media by pharma, it’s a bit of a “wild west” feel for us. Lilly overall (not just @LillyTrials) has taken a pretty agile approach to social media content and conversations. I am the person behind the @LillyTrials handle, so when people get a response it’s crafted by me—not by a robot or a PR agency!

How does @LillyTrials help push the boundaries in clinical research?

The @LillyTrials handle is dedicated to discussions of clinical research, raising awareness and educating the public about this essential component in the development of new medicines. 

Clinical research is an invaluable part of making life better for people across the globe. While incredible strides have been made in what researchers are able to discover, there’s still room for improvement. Lilly Trials pushes the boundaries of clinical research, making it more connected, engaging, and accessible than ever before. We believe that in order to advance and accelerate the development of new medicines, we have to have open and honest conversations with patients, caregivers, researchers, innovators. The more we share ideas and knowledge, the bigger the difference we can make.

What do we need to know going in to the tweetchat?

The @LillyTrials handle does not and cannot discuss marketed medications or indications. Because we are pharma, there are a few rules of the road for our interaction in the tweetchat. You can view our full community guidelines here, but the most pertinent ones are outlined below:

  • @LillyTrials is dedicated to the topic of clinical research. We are not equipped to discuss marketed medications. It’s best to call The Lilly Answer Center (800-LillyRx or 800-545-5979) if you have questions about a Lilly product.
  • If you are participating in an ongoing Lilly research study, please help make sure we don’t become aware of which study treatment you may be receiving. We must reduce the potential for bias in our research.

What other initiatives can you tell us about?

The @LillyTrials Twitter handle is part of a whole network of information we are using to provide educational materials about research in general, including LillyTrialGuide.com, the LillyTrialGuide cancer research site, periodic blog posts on Lillypad.com, and Hero’s Journey Art, our crowd-sourced art project to raise awareness of clinical research.

Chat Topics:

T1.The story of @LillyTrials. In the first part of the chat, we’ll yield the floor to @LillyTrials who will tell us their story 140 characters at a time. Then we’ll move on to the discussion to explore the following topics:

T2. Who sponsors clinical trials?

 T2 a. Does it matter to you (as a patient, an investigator/researcher) who the trial sponsor is? How might this affect your decision to join?

T2b. Is there something a pharma company might do – good or bad, to affect your decision to join a trial?

T3. We know that only 3% of the population participates in clinical trials. Why is this?

T3a. How can pharma help to make it easier for patients to participate?

T3 b. Lilly Trials and the TVO Tool – Lilly would love to hear from you.

T4. What is the role of caregivers in clinical trials?

T4 a. How can pharma help support that caregiver role?

T5.  How have pharmaceutical companies included the patient voice in stages of clinical research?

T5 b. How can pharmaceutical companies include the patient voice in all stages of clinical research?


Please join us for this special #CTSM chat, Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 at 9 PM Eastern.