More trial info would boost physician referrals, says CenterWatch

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical industry, Clinical trial

Physicians say a lack of information about candidate drugs often prevents them referring patients for clinical trials, according to a new survey by sector analysts CenterWatch.

The finding, which is based on responses from 250 physicians across the US, suggests that contract research organisations (CRO) efforts to promote trials do not always hit their targets.

The knock on effect of such delays to recruitment is to prolong trial programmes, cost pharma sponsors more money and, ultimately, mean that new drugs take longer to reach the patient.

CenterWatch’s director of market research Mary Jo Lamberti, who will present the full results at the Drug Industry Association (DIA) annual meeting in San Diego next week, gave Outsourcing-pharma an overview of her presentation.

Dr Lamberti explained that: “Some of the key reasons why physicians do not refer patients into trials are lack of information on treatments or new investigational drugs.”

She also said that respondents argued that the lack of access to information about available clinical programmes often means there is “not enough time to learn about a particular trial​.”

Lamberti suggested that resolving the information gap, with a particular emphasis on the potential therapeutic benefits of a drug candidate, would make physicians more comfortable about referrals and increase the motivation to put patients forward.

She added that it is important that referring physicians are part of the research process and, in so far as is possible, are informed about a particular trial’s progress and eventual outcome.

Lamberti’s presentation will also cover the importance to referrals of trial locations, patient accessibility and the referring physician’s knowledge about a particular disease.

Patient view

CenterWatch will also be discussing clinical trials of the patients perspective based on the responses from more the 670 patients who participated in a second survey conducted by the group.

Senior Research analyst Paul Dewberry will report on patient experiences of the trials process from Phase I to IIIb with, for the first time, a discussion of the importance of patient compensation.

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