Patient retention is critical to the success of a clinical trial, but continues to be one of the most significant challenges. Often, clinical trials fail to meet enrollment timelines or even the minimum patient requirement to conduct the study. Lack of awareness plays a key role in the challenges around patient retention. According to Clinical Leader, the pharmaceutical industry spends nearly $2 billion on patient retention each year, yet based on the “Survey of Clinical Trial Awareness and Attitudes”, 50 percent of respondents noted they were not aware of clinical trials and only 4 percent indicated ever participating in one.
With this in mind, I began looking into clinical trials to gain a better understanding of the available opportunities. In my search, I came across ResearchMatch, an online, national clinical research registry that “matches” people who want to participate in clinical studies with researchers who are seeking volunteers. Through ResearchMatch I was able to view numerous studies in need of participants, ultimately enrolling in a study run by NYU School of Medicine. This study simply required me to complete an online questionnaire regarding demographics, dietary habits and behaviors. That’s it, I was done!
Within a week of completing the online questionnaire, I received a ClinCard in the mail as payment for taking part in the study. Unaware that I would be reimbursed in the form of ClinCard, this came as a pleasant surprise as I was (inadvertently) able to experience first-hand the convenience that Greenphire’s staple product brings to a study from the rapid payment distribution to the balance tracking ability via the online portal. In addition, I gained insight into what it takes to participate in a clinical trial.
This experience opened my eyes to the ease of locating and participating in clinical research. Not all clinical trials require participation from “patients” or people with specific illnesses; anyone can find studies in which they are eligible to enroll. Clinical trials are being conducted every day globally, and patient recruitment and retention continues to be a substantial barrier. With increased awareness, more people can be matched with studies in need of participants, helping to improve clinical trial outcomes around the world.