View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
December 14, 2016updated 13 Jul 2022 10:12am

Tips to improve Patient Recruitment

Henry Kerali investigates ways sponsors can improve patient recruitment

By Staff Writer

It was in a February 2011 article that appeared in Pharma Voice that revealed the startling statistic that 80 percent of clinical trials are delayed due to recruitment issues. When you factor in that 50 percent of studies fail to meet their recruitment targets and 50 percent are delayed due to insufficient recruitment, it goes to show how patient recruitment continues to present major obstacles in clinical operations.[1] What’s more, once patients are enrolled, investigators continue to oversee high dropout rates, all the more exacerbated by over estimation at the feasibility stage.[2]

Free Case Study
img

Direct-to-Patient Trials: How IRT Plays an Important Role in Bellerophon's Direct-to-Patient Trials

As the industry strengthens its focus on patient centricity, Direct-to-Patient clinical trials have emerged as a popular trial design that have the potential to increase patient recruitment and retention. IRT plays a crucial role in the success of a Direct-to-Patient trial. Because drug supplies are being managed and shipped from distribution facilities directly to patients’ homes, a sponsor must have a high-quality system in place to accurately track the chain of custody, ensure patient-blinding and handle other logistical challenges. What You Will Learn Benefits and challenges associated with the Direct-to-Patient model Bellerophon's top considerations when implementing this trial design How IRT can equip study teams to successfully track chain of custody, ensure patient blinding, and handle logistical challenges
by Suvoda
Enter your details here to receive your free Case Study.

In the drug development process, patient recruitment (and retention) has a significant bearing on the outcome of a clinical trial. Getting to the root of enrolment issues and finding ways to mitigate recruitment challenges is critical to ensuring success. So what can sponsors do to improve recruitment practices? Here are three things to consider:

Site selection

As ever, good site selection is key to finding the right patients for your trial. Past performance is typically a precursor of future returns as a well run site will deliver more often than not. One of the common hurdles for patient recruitment is the distance between sites and patients, so strategically select sites that are easily accessible to participants. If enlisting a CRO to conduct your trial, measure how well they know the therapeutic area of the study, while considering their track record if they’ve worked on similar trials.

Be thorough with your CRO when assessing their recruitment processes, bearing in mind that it’s not enough for them to say they can recruit 10 patients. Probe and understand how they will recruit them. If your CRO normally advertises to recruit patients, ask what their response rate was. If they use their own database, can they preselect patients, and so forth. However, once the trial is underway, if recruitment is slow going, don’t be afraid to cut your losses. Develop a contingency plan by having back-up sites in place.

Advertising (traditional media)

While some experts say 75 percent of patient recruitment comes from good site selection, the other 25 percent boils down to an effective advertising strategy. When reaching out to potential patients, always consider the ways in which your target demographic consumes information. For instance, if you’re targeting the elderly, consider advertising in elderly magazines, on the radio, in newspapers, and so forth. While these methods aren’t groundbreaking, the key to recruitment success is how you’re able to manage public response to ads.

Call centres can be effective and is probably the most established way of managing public interest to trials. CROs and clinical trial units, in particular, have the capacity to handle and follow up on prospective enquiries. Ensure you have in place medically qualified personnel who can take the calls. Have them use a phone script for high level screening before referring the patient to the nearest site location.

Another way to boost faster response times is through the use of SMS text messaging. If you set up a system whereby you facilitate an open dialogue with a prospective patient, you can pre-screen them to gauge their suitability for the trial.

Harness the Power of the Internet

Lastly, the power of the Internet cannot be overstated. When used to maximum effect, the Internet can enhance recruitment rates and boost your chances of success. Sites such as ClinicalTrials.gov lead the way in drawing patients to the relevant studies. Leading companies like Janssen have created disease specific sites, an approach ideally suited to larger sponsors with multiple studies in a therapeutic area. Nevertheless, creating disease related websites should not be overlooked, even if you’re a small or medium sized company.

Think outside the box by learning where your patients are surfing, and learn where to find them on the Internet. Online ads are another effective tool that shouldn’t be underestimated. Programmatic advertising (e.g. banner ads) can be used on multiple websites using algorithms to track and identify potential patients. If, for instance, a prospective patient enters the search terms into YouTube that are triggers, the video they view could be preceded by an advert for your clinical trial. Although such a tactic may seem like a shot in the dark, programmatic advertising could bring a sponsor closer to patients, and improve their recruitment strategy.

 

 

References

  1. Treweek S, et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Jan;
  2. Sahoo, “Patient Recruitment and Retention in Clinical Trials”. Emerging strategies in Europe, the US and Asia”, 2007, Business Insights Ltd;
  3. Quintiles white paper: the key to successful study start-up
  4. Diderik Boot, Considering innovative methods for patient recruitment to increase patient populations effectively (Presentation)

Related Companies

Free Case Study
img

Direct-to-Patient Trials: How IRT Plays an Important Role in Bellerophon's Direct-to-Patient Trials

As the industry strengthens its focus on patient centricity, Direct-to-Patient clinical trials have emerged as a popular trial design that have the potential to increase patient recruitment and retention. IRT plays a crucial role in the success of a Direct-to-Patient trial. Because drug supplies are being managed and shipped from distribution facilities directly to patients’ homes, a sponsor must have a high-quality system in place to accurately track the chain of custody, ensure patient-blinding and handle other logistical challenges. What You Will Learn Benefits and challenges associated with the Direct-to-Patient model Bellerophon's top considerations when implementing this trial design How IRT can equip study teams to successfully track chain of custody, ensure patient blinding, and handle logistical challenges
by Suvoda
Enter your details here to receive your free Case Study.

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Key drug pipeline and competitive landscape changes based on the latest clinical activity, sent every Tuesday. Curated analysis and data-driven insights on clinical trials strategy and operations, sent every Thursday. The pharmaceutical industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU

Thank you for subscribing to Clinical Trials Arena