How clinical trial organisations are stepping up their marketing game
Clinical trial organisations are finding it increasingly hard to recruit participants. In the past they relied on brochures and TV and radio advertising; however, it is becoming more and more difficult to recruit a suitable number of patients who fit the criteria for the study. The calibre of the participants and their medical history will directly affect the results that are available from the clinical studies and the Thorough QT Studies that are conducted in various areas of health.
How clinical trial companies are adapting
The major challenge for many companies is making people aware of the opportunities that exist for being part of a clinical trial to advance knowledge and help to find cures for diseases; for example, a CRO might expand its marketing to include local meetings and social media to raise awareness of a particular subject.
When a patient has expressed an interest in participating in a clinical trial, the organisation must make sure the individual is aware of all the details of the trial. They need to know exactly what level of commitment is expected from them and specifics such as risk/benefit ratios so that they are confident in the safety of the trial and how it is being conducted.
To attract participants, it is necessary to offer them something they value. In some cases, this is a financial reward; however, it can be more important to stress such aspects as quality of care and the knowledge that they are contributing to scientific advancement when taking part in clinical trials.
Problems with recruitment
A major difficulty in finding people to take part in clinical trials is the fact that so few of the potential participants will fit the particular study’s strict criteria. Sometimes it is necessary for a company to screen hundreds of patients to find just a small number who are suitable. In one recent case, 1,000 patients were interviewed to find just the eight needed.
According to the National Institute on Aging, it is particularly difficult to recruit participants for research into Alzheimer’s disease.
As there can be a widespread public mistrust in the pharmaceutical industry and a belief that it spends too much on the promotion of drugs already in use, it is necessary to educate people in the more positive aspects of big pharma. These include research and development, sponsorship of healthcare events, and assistance to many poor populations worldwide.