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Recruitment into clinical trials — patient, recruit thyself

Recruitment into clinical trials — patient, recruit thyself - Featured Image

Improving rates of recruitment into clinical trials, especially later-stage trials that require more participants, is a big challenge facing the Australian clinical trials sector. Successful clinical trials require not just sufficient funding, talent and clinical know-how, but also an adequate number of participants.

Already, Australia lags behind the United Kingdom in this regard. In June 2014, the UK’s National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network announced its three millionth participant in trials conducted over the previous 6 years (http://www.crn.nihr.ac.uk/blog/news/patient-recruitment-to-research-studies-hits-three-million). In contrast, a benchmarking survey of Australian clinical research activity by the Pharmaceuticals Industry Council indicated that 53% of Phase III trials carried out in Australia in 2010 achieved less than 80% of their recruitment target.

So, how can we boost recruitment? One method is by capturing more participants at clinics by improving the recruitment process at that stage. Perhaps a more useful approach would be to give potential participants the ability to register for trials themselves. While such functionality already exists for specific conditions, a resource that provides information on all Australian clinical trials for all conditions would greatly…