Issues in Patient Recruitment and Retention

The number one element in clinical trials is patient recruitment and retention. This is the foundation of effective, result-oriented clinical trials. Why this is so is because patients on whom clinical trials are conducted are the perfect subjects for a trial, since it is on their existing or likely conditions and diseases that clinical trials are run. Selection of these patients is where the crux of patient recruitment and retention lies, because it is these patients that determine the accuracy of the trial.

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Why is patient recruitment and retention important for sponsors?

The whole effectiveness of a clinical trial or research depends on patient recruitment and retention, because of which patient recruitment and retention is absolutely critical for sponsors if they have to avoid long delays in time to market a drug or device that is a product of the clinical trial.

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Further, patient recruitment and retention also becomes very critical to sponsors of clinical trials because an error in the process of patient recruitment and retention can lead to costly results, such as loss of revenue from the trial.

Another core reason for the effectiveness of patient recruitment and retention is that on account of errors in this area, companies could stand to lose revenues on a mighty scale. All the money spent and the projected returns from trials will likely get highly retarded if patient recruitment and retention is not done rightly.

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What are the patient recruitment and retention strategies?

Patient recruitment and retention starts with a thorough understanding of the needs of the particular research. The first step towards patient recruitment and retention is commencing the clinical research armed with the exact and precise information about the research. This should serve as the single most important aspect of patient recruitment and retention, because this is the foundation of a clinical research. On this lies a good part of the effectiveness of patient recruitment and retention.

How is patient recruitment and retention achieved?

Let us admit it. We all work for rewards. The same goes for patient recruitment and retention. Without proper reward for their participation, it is highly unlikely that patients who are subjects of a clinical trial are going to cooperate in the trial activity. So, when aiming for patient recruitment and retention, the sponsors and principals should ensure that they communicate this issue very honestly with the patients.

For some patients, the reward for participation in a clinical trial could be monetary. For others, it could just be an improvement or cure of their medical condition. This way, these aspects need to be cleared before the start of a clinical trial if patient recruitment and retention is to be achieved.