CROs Can’t Recruit Patients Fast Enough: Survey

By Ed Silverman // May 14th, 2012 // 10:47 am.

Running clinical trials is increasingly complex and costly, but the most vexing part may be finding suitable patients when they are needed. That can be especially true in the US, for instance, where participation rates are often low and many people are already taking at least one medication. So perhaps it may not be surprising to learn that, when it comes to preparing a clinical trial, drugmakers value speeding the time spent to recruit patients over lowering costs.

A new survey finds that nearly 90 percent would prefer reaching patient recruitment goals at least 10 percent faster over cutting Phase II or Phase III trial costs by 20 percent. In fact, only 15 percent of the 72 drugmakers queried chose reduced expenses over faster patient recruitment, according to Industry Standard Research, a market research firm that conducted the survey.

The results belie a level of dissatisfaction, which may explain why half of the drugmakers reported that they prefer to do patient recruitment work themselves, even though clinical outsourcing is, overall, commonplace. But when recruitment is outsourced, the survey found that of the 12 large and mid-size multi-service CROs evaluated for patient recruitment activities, only three met or exceeded expectations greater than half of the time. Read More