Improving Standards of Patient Recruitment and Retention in Clinical Trials

The process of validating new treatments through clinical trials is one of the most significant yet essential costs met by the global healthcare industry. Clinical trials are not only expensive to run, but also notoriously time-consuming, as clinical-research professionals try to meet all of the associated regulatory criteria. Download PDF Many of these costs and delays are incurred due to inefficiencies associated with recruiting and retaining the patients necessary to complete a trial successfully. A 2003 report into patient recruitment opens with a series of damning statistics that illustrate the scale of the problem: Patient recruitment consumes 27% of the cost of development – that is US$5.9 billion annually around the world – [yet] only 1 in 20 recruited patients provides results that can be included in a regulatory dossier… Recruiting and retaining patients is a major cause of clinical trial delays. In fact, over three-quarters of all clinical trials currently fail to meet their recruitment deadlines. (Wang et al., 2003, p. 1) The view taken by the IBM Institute for Business Value, who produced the report, is that: Inefficient patient recruitment [...]