Clinical trial recruitment specialists One Research have announced the publication of a white paper, delivered by researchers from the Sussex Innovation Centre, examining the current challenges faced globally by clinical research and patient recruitment professionals, as well as patients themselves.

The research drew several conclusions, proposing that significant costs and delays might be avoided by empowering patients more effectively, streamlining the recruitment process for both patients and clinicians, and reducing workload for clinicians and researchers.

The paper, entitled Improving Standards of Patient Recruitment and Retention in Clinical Trials, saw the research team conduct extensive interviews with 15 prominent figures within the clinical research sector, representing organisations from the UK, EU and US. The interviewees provided perspectives from pharmaceutical companies, CROs, academic institutions, research sites, and public health and advocacy groups.

The insight of these industry thought-leaders shape a holistic discussion of current issues facing the sector, examining interconnected factors that include the design of trial protocols, patient attrition, the workload faced by healthcare professionals, approaches to patient engagement and the referral process.

While the report concedes that there is no single answer to these challenges, it identifies several key areas where improvement is possible, and calls upon all stakeholders in the future success of clinical research to consider the challenges facing the industry and aspire to a ‘gold standard’ for patient recruitment.

“We hope that this white paper will be a catalyst for change in how patients are recruited for clinical research worldwide,” said Alistair Crombie, MD of One Research. “We’re not advocating ripping up the rulebook and starting again, but we intend to get people talking about the numerous inefficiencies that hold back the vital progress of clinical research, and propose a strategic approach that sits alongside and complements current practices.”

The paper was covered in an exclusive in industry-leading publication PharmaTimes last week, while One Research were also interviewed about the clinical research industry, the company’s future plans and the development of the research behind the paper, in a feature with South East Business this month.

One Research Ltd is an innovative research communications agency that specialises in the development of effective recruitment strategies.