PAREXEL - Paul Evans Discusses the Challenges of Patient Recruitment
Patient recruitment today is more challenging than ever. If you think about clinical trials, they don’t take place in a vacuum so life intervenes in our attempts to conduct clinical trials. If you think about the main components for investigators, the demands on healthcare get increasingly challenging so doctors today are more stretched than ever with the budgets they have available and what they’re expected to deliver to their patient. For the patients themselves, anybody will tell you that life is probably more demanding these days on us socially than it’s ever been so most people complain that the demands on their time are greater, for example, than it was in their parents’ generation. There is an element of truth in that, that’s just modern living. Finally, of course, the pharmaceutical industry itself has its own pressures. The pharmaceutical industry is expected to deliver more with less. Those are the demands of their stockholders. One of the consequences of that is that protocols are becoming more complicated. If you look at the average protocol over the last ten years, there are more procedures, there are more visits, there’s more data to be collected because that’s what the needs of the pharmaceutical industry are. Both of those things lead to more demands on the investigator and more demands on the patient. We’re asking the patient to do more in every clinical trial that we ask them to take part in. We’re asking for more all the time so it’s getting more and more complicated to persuade patients that this is a good thing and that they want to take part. So as life gets more complicated, our job, of course, is to try to simplify that journey and to make the clinical trials pathway both easier for the investigators and the patients and that’s a key aim of the things that we do here at PAREXEL.