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International Clinical Trials

Editor’s Comment

In this edition, we highlight several aspects of patient recruitment and retention. Getting patients to participate in clinical trials is an ongoing challenge throughout the pharmaceutical industry. Stewart Rosen and Nicola J Smith at QuintilesIMS discusses how the human touch can alleviate some problems in subject recruitment. He notes that nearly two million patients take part in 80,000 companysponsored trials every year. However, as Ken Getz – founder of the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation – comments, companies are increasingly struggling to attract and retain the requisite number of participants to complete studies on time and within budget. It is estimated that almost half of all sites miss their enrolment targets. One solution proposed by Rosen and Smith is that nurses and other healthcare providers can play a crucial role as educators in the recruitment process; they feel that the function of these educators will expand as the number of clinical trials continues to rise.

Bruno Gagnon and Nick Payton at Comprehend discuss how patient centricity is a growing trend in the pharma sector and how this can result in patients being treated as consumers, rather than subjects.They describe how the three steps: leakage diagnosis, root causes of withdrawal and closing the loop, can help to retain patients by means of a proactive education of participants, which empowers them to make more informed decisions. The role of clinical operations is vital in this regard. Research nurses in particular – with respect to long-term medical conditions in clinical trials – are discussed by Julie Millar, Gaynor Mates and Louise Doyle at CK Aspire. They believe that studies carried out in ‘real world conditions’ can be complementary to traditional randomised clinical trials, and explore how research nurses must adapt to the varying examination methodologies when recruiting patients.

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