Clinical trials are vital to the advancement of medical science. Pharmaceutical companies are required by law to conduct extensive clinical trials for New Drug Applications before they can receive FDA approval. Pharmaceutical companies rely on clinical trials to prove the efficacy of their new drugs and to uncover any adverse effects in real patients.
Drug companies often face many challenges when it comes to recruiting patients to take part in clinical trials. This is however not to say that there are no patients with chronic illnesses who qualify for the trials being done. An estimated 60 million Americans live with severe, chronic and life-threatening diseases. The problem lies in recruiting enough of these patients and keeping them involved until the trial is concluded. Pharmaceutical companies thus have to go back to the drawing board and think of innovative clinical trial recruitment strategies that will enable them to recruit enough patients and keep them involved to the end.
Drug companies are often interested in patients who are chronically or terminally ill. When all forms of available treatments have failed to cure them, patients often resign themselves to fate. A recruiter must carefully approach such patients and their families and explain the possibility that the new drug might help to achieve. Recruiters must overcome emotional barriers with these patients and should therefore be careful with their clinical trial recruitment strategiesof choice.
For clinical trials marketing to bear fruits the company should use multiple strategies simultaneously. A company that uses a mix of marketing strategies effectively will definitely reach more eligible patients. Using the mass media is one of the best marketing strategies that companies use to inform the public about clinical trials. Mass media is a very effective marketing tool because it is cost-effective and can reach millions of people. Drug companies thus buy advertisements in newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Pharmaceutical companies can however not rely on mass media alone for medical trials marketing. This is because some of the patients they want may not be reached and even those who are informed may have no incentive to volunteer for the trial. A more personalized approach is therefore required to augment media advertising.
In order to convince patients to volunteer companies must get into direct contact with them. Mass media is great for informing the public but a personal appeal is often necessary to really get people to volunteer. Companies often turn to clinicians for help. Doctors can provide companies with direct referrals to patients or speak on their behalf to patients and their families about clinical trials that can benefit them. One-on-one conversation is hence a good clinical trials marketing strategy in that a recruiter can respond to patients' questions and allay any concerns that might be holding them back from volunteering.
Tapping into support groups and associations bringing together people affected by certain conditions is also a powerful marketing strategy. For example, if a company wants to recruit prostate cancer patients it can talk to prostate cancer support groups. Companies can indeed recruit more patients by reaching them through their support groups.
Nowadays companies are using the internet as part of their clinical trial recruitment strategies. The internet is offering unprecedented access to millions of people through social media. A company can thus go online to draw people's attention to trials and even establish one-on-one contact with patients.
An overview of effective clinical trials marketingstrategies