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While most trials ultimately meet their enrollment goals, it often can take twice as long as expected. This finding suggests that many study sponsors could benefit from Patient Recruitment Organization assistance in creating a reliable patient recruitment and retention plan.
A good rule of thumb is to involve a Patient Recruitment Organization if the sites, on average, estimate they will need to recruit 30% or more of the patients from outside sources. A Patient Recruitment Organization can help develop the materials and support outreach and awareness efforts to “fill the funnel” of potential candidates. If the sites anticipate high consent refusal or drop-out ratios, a Patient Recruitment Organization can assist with patient education and retention activities.
It is common to engage a PATIENT RECRUITMENT ORGANIZATION when enrollment has faltered and the study needs to be rescued. However, it is best to involve a PATIENT RECRUITMENT ORGANIZATION early in the study design phase. During feasibility assessment, the PATIENT RECRUITMENT ORGANIZATION can help anticipate potential barriers to enrollment and retention. The PATIENT RECRUITMENT ORGANIZATION can advise on country allocation and site selection criteria. It can help develop a reliable recruitment and retention plan that will avoid time and budget overruns. The earlier the PATIENT RECRUITMENT ORGANIZATION is involved, the more time it will have to develop study branding and creative materials and messaging, which will need to go through time-consuming internal and external review, translation and approval.