Patient Recruitment: Market Landscape and Opportunities for Contract Service Providers

It is estimated that 80% of clinical trials do not meet their designated patient enrolment deadlines. In addition, retaining patients is also a matter of concern, considering that the approximate dropout rate across clinical studies is around 30%. Delays in product launch, due to inability of the sponsors to recruit / retain patients, are highly common and are estimated to result in an average loss of USD 8 million per day in opportunity costs, for a blockbuster drug.

I have highlighted below some of the most interesting insights from our study. You can also access additional details here.


A steadily increasing demand for participants in clinical research studies, coupled to the complexities associated with patient enrollment, have prompted drug / therapy developers to outsource this process to specialty service providers


Presently, close to 140 companies claim to be actively engaged in offering patient recruitment / retention services to the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries, employing a variety of outreach methods and solutions


The market landscape is fragmented and distributed across various geographies; the growing need for specialized / niche study populations and cost saving options have made offshoring a popular trend


Majority of the service providers are based in developed regions; the market is characterized by the presence of both established players and small-sized companies / new entrants


Companies involved in this domain are steadily expanding their capabilities in order to enhance their respective services portfolios and comply to evolving industry benchmarks


The growing trend of outsourcing patient recruitment-related activities is evident from the rise in partnership activity in the recent past and from the opinions expressed by eminent stakeholders in the industry


Several growth opportunities, driven by increasing volume of clinical trials, exist; some of these focus specially on the development of therapies for rare and complex indications


We expect the overall patient recruitment market for the service providers to increase steadily and grow by over 60% in the coming years


The opportunity is anticipated to be well-distributed across various geographical regions, different clinical phases of development and therapeutic areas


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