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Accelerating patient recruitment: The growing role of clinical trial educators



Stewart H. Rosen 
Vice President, Medical Affairs, QuintilesIMS

Nicola Smith 
Senior Director, Head of Field-based Medical Operations, QuintilesIMS

Life sciences companies spend an average of $300,000 to recruit each participant for a Phase III clinical trial. (1) However, despite this investment, 80% of trials fail to meet their initial patient enrolment quotas. Challenges associated with the identification of subjects to participate in a study can cause serious bottlenecks and delay study completion, slowing development, delaying patient access to important therapies, and causing financial losses to sponsors as high as $8 million a day. (2)

This challenge is compounded when it comes to specialty medicines where the patient pool is small and often geographically dispersed. In cancer clinical trials, for example, it costs approximately $50,000 to initiate a study site, yet 20% to 30% of study sites never enroll a single patient. (3) In addition, attrition rates for Phase III clinical trials, which have reached 30% to 40%, are often attributed to issues such as convenience and efficacy rather than safety. 

Surprisingly, the biggest stumbling block that prevents clinical trials from reaching recruitment goals is a lack of awareness. A Harris Interactive Survey found that 85% of patients surveyed were either u ...

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