The report, from the business research and consulting firm Roots Analysis, examined approximately 140 companies offering patient recruitment and retention services.
Per the report, the market is fragmented with a mix of small- (less than 50 employees, 69%), mid- (51-200 employees, 14%), and large-sized (more than 200 employees, 17%) companies.
“Delays in clinical trial recruitment are one of the most significant cost factors in drug development. Sponsors are increasingly placing studies outside of the United States in areas such as eastern Europe and Asia,” said Frederick Adler, president, Proximity Health Solutions.
“They are doing this to gain access to patient populations that are treatment naïve and motived to participate in trials. This movement towards these new markets is not due to a shortage in patients in the United States, but a failure to effectively build awareness, engage and educate patients to effectively enroll trials,” Adler told us.
The report: By the numbers
- An estimated 80% of clinical trials do not meet patient enrollment deadlines
- Around 37% of research sites fail to meet enrollment goals
- More than 10% of sites don’t enroll a single patient
- The approximate dropout rate across clinical studies is around 30%
- Delays in product launch are estimated to result in an average loss of $8m per day in opportunity costs for a blockbuster drug
According to the report, most service providers are headquartered in North America and Europe, though a growing number are emerging in Asia-Pacific and other developing regions.
The research also found that more than 60% of these companies claim to use social media platforms to enroll patients for clinical studies.
Traditional broadcasting platforms – TV, radio, newspaper – make up the second most popular medium for patient outreach campaigns and are being used by 41% of stakeholders, according to the report.
Cited outreach methods include: Print advertisement (32%), patient advocacy groups (32%), physician referrals (30%), cold call/call centers (28%), patient networks (27%), proprietary patient databases (27%), direct mail/e-mail (24%), in addition to electronic medical records (EMRs), pharmacy, and health care data (14%).
“Advances in technology have provided tools that help identify eligible patients within a physician’s database that are likely to qualify for a study,” said Adler. “However, physicians and their staff often lack the tools, time, and skills to educate an existing patient about clinical trials and motivate them to consent.”
Per ClinicalTrials.gov, the number of registered studies in 2000 was 2,119. This number was 100,223 in 2010 and by the end of last year, there were 293,360 registered studies.
“With the rapid growth of the clinical trial industry, greater effectiveness and efficiency will be required,” said Adler. “For clinical trials to truly become more efficient we as an industry will need to become more proactive in informing and educating the general public about clinical trials.”