Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Are clinical trials often too small? What can Pharma do?

Clinical trial patient recruitment is often a hot topic at the Partnerships conferences year round.  Recently at Mother Nature Network, they discussed a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association which was lead by Duke University and the FDA to look at how patients found out about and looked for clinical trials.  They examined 96,000 studies taking place since 2010.  What they found was that 96% of trials had 1000 patients or fewer and 62% had 100 patients or fewer.  Is this enough to gather information about the drugs that are being tested?  ClinicalTrials.Gov was created for the purpose of sharing all clinical trials going on in the United States, but the article suggests that there's not enough engagement in the clinical community from doctors, nurses, trial sponsors and clinicians to inform patients of their options.

San Francisco is one of the cities taking the initiative to change this.  According to the Business Times, last year, the city took the time to build a database that allowed those in San Francisco to search what clinical trials were happening in their town.  This year, they've improved the system so that it's more searchable - by body part, by company, by indication, by Bay Area community where companies are based, by trial status and by trial stage. Also included is how far along the trial is, how many patients are enrolled and any major milestones that may be occurring in the trial.

We recently hosted a web seminar "Unlocking the Pharmacy Channel for Clinical Trial Patient Recruitment," where McKesson discussed how to reach patients though the Pharmacist to discuss the potentials in clinical trials.

What other new and innovative measures can be taken to increase the enrollment and awareness in clinical trials?

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