Education to boost retention? PRA hires UK Ad agency

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

Education to boost retention? PRA hires UK Ad agency
Education to boost retention? PRA hires UK Ad agency

Related tags: Clinical trial, Contract research organization

PRA Health Sciences will launch a recruitment and education drive for trials in the UK this spring in collaboration with advertising agency DJM Pan Unlimited.

PRA hired Richmond, Surry, UK-based DJM Pan last month. The US contract research organisation (CRO) said the agency will help it prepare a campaign to both inform potential trial participants about upcoming studies and underline what is expected of them.

Maureen McVitty, Director Patient Access and Retention Services at PRA, said: “We want to improve the education and communication patients undergoing clinical trials experience, so that we can help them fully understand the commitment required and support them properly, throughout the whole study​.” 

She did not disclose details of the campaign, but did say that DJM Pan had won the contract as a result of its multi-channel approach and experience of digital advertising.

Recruitment and retention

The majority of clinical trials conducted in the UK do not achieve the recruitment targets.

According to a 2012 study​ by Europe Economics – funded by Novartis – only 55% of UK studies reach 90% of their targets. This is lower than the 59% of trials that meet their recruitment goals in Germany and the 69% that achieve them in Italy.

The study also suggests the UK is one of the most expensive places in Europe to conduct trials, with the average cost of signing up a single trial subject being €9,758 ($10,597).

Efforts are underway to try and address low UK recruitment rates. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has said​ it wants to see ‘more patients and health professionals participating in health research.​’ 

However, a recent study​ suggests little progress has been made.

Researchers are also looking at ways of helping sponsors and CROs make sure those participants who they are able to enrol complete the study​.

Whether education campaigns will be part of the solution remains to be seen, however, Professor Peter Bower from the Institute of Population Health as the University of Manchester is cautiously optimistic.

He told us "I think any attempt to be more explicit about the commitment required [from people taking part in trials] may help, although we know so little that different approaches really need to be tested​."

Spring campaign

Wyndham Clark, client services director at DJM PAN Unlimited, declined to share details of the campaign when contacted by telling us the firm would “keep our powder dry’ until it is in the public domain​.”

However, he did say that “Our first campaign will break around April or May time​.” 

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