Challenges of Clinical Trial Recruitment and Proposals to Address them
Our first topic for debate will be the problem of recruiting volunteers in cancer and other difficult trials where participation rates are low. This is a problem that clinical researchers often struggle with. In cancer, it is generally acknowledged that less than 10% of eligible research volunteers are recruited in clinical trials. The slow rate of participation in a program increases its cost. An insufficient number of volunteers can even force a sponsor to abandon a research program, as the trial remains uninterpretable, with the contributions of the volunteers being wasted.
This difficulty has prompted numerous initiatives on what can be done to increase participation, and whether the public should be encouraged to see clinical research differently.
In the series of writings on this specific topic, we plan to describe the context of clinical trials including its ethical contingencies and offer at least five proposals to address the problem of low participation. Accordingly, we plan to have blogs on:
- The financial characteristics of the pharma business
- The cost of clinical trial delays (and abandonments)
- Current non-monetary sources of motivation / demotivation to participate in clinical trials;
- Current monetary sources of motivation / demotivation to participate in clinical trials.
- Main objections to business partnerships between sponsors and clinical trial participants
We will present proposals to address the challenges:
Proposal 1. Change the public perception: A media campaign to present clinical research in a positive, constructive light and address sources motivation / demotivation.
Proposal 2. Simplify implementation: Taking the trial from the hospital to the home.
Proposal 3. Restore fairness by treating volunteers as special investors in the pharmaceutical industry.
As best we can, we shall attempt to address objections we anticipate before publication and those we don’t anticipate after
Chief Medical Officer and Co-founder
Pharma industry veteran with 30+ years in large Pharma & in leading small biotechs, spearheading large initiatives and securing funding, psychiatry practice and research for 10+ years.