Patient recruitment delays are remarkably costly.  In fact, some studies suggest each day of clinical trial setbacks can cost a sponsor $1m in expected sales.  Statistics show that only about 10 percent of all clinical trials are completed on time and this largely due to slow patient recruitment.

Patient recruitment, enrollment planning and retention are critical to drug development programs. Patient recruitment– if not adequately planned for– can extend your development timeline by years. Retention of patients throughout the lifecycle of a clinical trial is essential for complete data to support robust analysis and subsequent filings. To optimize both, you need a plan.

So why is patient recruitment so challenging?  After years of experience, Topstone Research has identified the key pitfalls, considerations and subsequent solutions which will help achieve your enrolment goals.

Patient Recruitment

Attracting and enrolling patients in clinical trials is a common challenge for all drug makers. How quickly and accurately it is done directly impacts the time it takes to get a drug to commercialization. More often than not, alternative approaches to traditional methods are required.

At Topstone, we believe that sound recruitment strategies, targeted for intended participants, are emerging as key success factors to filling study panels. Many innovative tools and tactics help our recruiters target participants and improve the efficiency of their efforts.

So how do we go about raising the awareness of our studies? In order to select the best approach, we first need to examine today’s patient.

Today’s Patient

Today’s patients are tech savvy, pro-active health care consumers. Many patients today search online to find out information about a disease, treatment options and clinical studies. Nearly half of potential participants find out about studies through the media and internet.

For Topstone, focusing on consumers rather than science has had the most measurable effect on recruitment. Patient-centric advertising, including study websites powered by strong marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies, can help attract study participants in a more cost-effective and efficient manner.

In addition to patient-centric websites, we use the following tactics to help you successfully enroll patient in your clinical trials:

  • Digital Media Campaign
  • Dedicated in-house call centre
  • Online Platforms
  • Social media
  • Targeted websites such as which is the top 3 organic search engines for clinical trials
  • Study apps which have a targeted audience of patients looking for clinical trials
  • Advocacy groups
  • Doctor involvement
  • Participant education
  • Study information sheets
  • Developing IRB-approved pre-screening protocols