Choosing the right patient recruitment provider

patient recruitment

The field of patient recruitment is a pretty young one, especially when it is done digitally. Many sponsors still rely only on the sites to recruit patients for the trial. The sites however, do not have the marketing expertise to recruit patients from sources other than their own database. Thus, oftentimes, the sites do not recruit enough patients or less patients than expected.

Some sponsors ask the CRO to help with recruitment. When CROs have a special recruitment department this can work well. Most CROs however, do not have a specialized department in-house that has the know-how to recruit patients digitally and at acceptable costs. Thus, they hire a recruitment provider.

Sponsors and CROs intuitively decide correctly when outsourcing this task to a specialized provider. The recruitment provider has much more experience and insights on what recruitment activities work well for a certain indication or what patients like best, when it comes to advertising materials.

But how do I choose the right vendor?

There is a couple of things that can ease your decision-making. First of all, it’s digital knowledge. How much experience does the recruitment provider have with digital tools, campaigns and data? If you are not sure, ask!

Some recruitment providers have a unique database of registered patients that are interested in participating in a clinical trial. This is a huge advantage, as you can recruit faster and more cost efficient. So search for a recruitment provider that has readily available patients in a database.

I personally argue, that a great patient recruitment provider is a perfectionist in processes. What I mean with that is that it is not only important how to reach suitable patients, but also to screen them correctly and to get them to show up at the study site. All these steps require well-defined processes in order to work. When talking to recruitment providers, ask how their process from ad to randomization works, how do they screen, who does the screening and at what steps is the patient actively involved? Like that, you will find out a lot about the vendors’ priorities and processes.

But let’s talk about money. You will want to find a recruitment vendor that is willing to share the recruitment risk with you. This means that you only pay on a performance-basis and if recruitment goes well. There are many different payment options such as performance-based pricing models that are being used every day such as fixed-fees, pass-through costs for marketing, but success-fees on top, referral-based or randomization only. The payment model may vary according to the difficulty of the protocol and the number of study sites involved. It is simply important that you are aware of the differences and that you know what the benefits of each model are for you and your study.

If you want to find out more about Mondosano and our approach, contact us here

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About the Author:

Christian is one of the founders of Mondosano. He oversees project management, IT as well as quality management and is happy to help you in your patient recruitment efforts