Tacrine hydrochloride treatment IND: Methods for rapid physician and patient enrolment and data retrieval

James P. Symons, Michael Ibara, Dale F. Kraemer, Faye A. Luscombe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A Treatment IND (TIND) is a mechanism available to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States by which promising new drugs can be provided to patients with life-threatening illnesses. In many instances, the illness is life-threatening but of relatively low incidence, making the demand for the new treatment limited. However, if the disease is more prevalent and incidence is increasing, the demand for access to an experimental therapy may be substantially greater. Novel approaches and technologies would help manage recruitment of physicians, enrolment of patients and retrieval and timely analysis of data. Such was the case in the TIND for tacrine hydrochloride (Cognex®), a cholinesterase inhibitor which was under development for the treatment of patients with Alzheimer's Disease (AD). There were an estimated 4 million prevalent cases of AD in the US for which no approved therapeutic option was available at the time this TIND was initiated. We anticipated that there could be a large demand by both physicians and patients to enrol in the TIND. Therefore, to meet this demand, various mechanisms were employed to allow rapid enrolment and drug shipments to the patient. In addition, physicians who participated in the TIND were able to use a telephone touch-tone data entry system for reporting data and ordering new supplies of tacrine for their patients. Serious adverse events were reported directly to trained operators and summarized on a weekly basis for reporting to the FDA. At the time the programme was terminated, nearly 2000 physicians had enrolled to participate in the TIND and nearly 10,000 patients had received tacrine under the programme. The methods employed in this study to collect clinic visit and safety data met both regulatory and good clinical practice guidelines. In summary, a large volume of data was handled rapidly and efficiently in this programme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-416
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Tacrine
  • Touch-tone data entry
  • Treatment IND

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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