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Due to several factors, such as steady rise in global clinical trials, demand for highly specific study participants, and complex inclusion-exclusion criteria, and the challenges associated with enrolling patients in modern clinical trials, pharmaceutical companies are increasingly using the services of dedicated patient recruitment firms.
-- Chief Operations Officer, Israel-based Small-sized Patient Recruitment Firm
The global clinical trial patient recruitment services market was valued at USD 9.4 billion in 2022; it is estimated to grow at compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% during the forecast period. Clinical trials form an integral part of the overall drug development process, enabling the necessary evaluation of the safety and efficacy of a drug candidate. As these trials are prone to delays, and can even fail altogether, they impose an immense financial pressure on sponsors.
Studies suggest that around 40% of the total investment made for the development of a drug candidate is dedicated to clinical trials. However, the conduct of such trials is often fraught with challenges, including scientific and operational complexity, concerns associated with recruitment and retention of suitable patients, issues related to data handling and increasingly stringent regulatory guidelines.
Further, owing to the inherent complexity of the overall process and involvement of several different stakeholders, these trials are prone to delays. It is worth mentioning that around 80% of the clinical trials are delayed due to insufficient patient recruitment. Further, retaining patients is also a major concern in pharmaceutical research and development; 15% to 40% of the enrolled patients drop out before the studies are completed, significantly impacting product approvals / launch timelines. Therefore, patient outreach, recruitment and retention strategies have evolved significantly, especially with the availability of a variety of digital data generation, management and marketing solutions. In fact, a number of modern technology-enabled offerings are now available to support various aspects of clinical research and patient recruitment.
The Clinical Trial Patient Recruitment Services Market (3rd Edition), 2022-2035: Distribution by Therapeutic Area (Cardiovascular Diseases, Oncological Disorders, Infectious Diseases, CNS Disorders, Respiratory Disorders, Hematological Disorders, Dermatological Disorders, Ophthalmic Disorders and Others), Patient Recruitment Step (Pre-screening and Screening), Trial Phase (Phase I, Phase II, Phase III and Phase IV) and Key Geographies (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa and Rest of the World report features an extensive study of the current market size and future market growth of the clinical trial recruitment market, over the forecast period. The research report also features an in-depth analysis, highlighting the capabilities of various clinical trial recruitment companies engaged in this field. Amongst other elements, the market report analyzes the patient recruitment market from the perspective of drug developers, patient recruitment organizations and investors.
Amongst several known challenges, patient recruitment is considered to be one of the rate limiting steps when it comes to getting drugs to the market. Presently, more than 155 companies have the required capabilities to offer patient recruitment and retention services across different geographical locations. Such clinical trial recruitment companies employ a variety of outreach methods and, over time, have attained a vital role in the successful conduct of clinical research. Further, several contract service providers are entering into strategic alliances in order to enhance their respective capabilities and offer an expanded portfolio of services to their clients. One such example is the collaboration of Trialbee and Worldwide Clinical Trials. The two companies announced their partnership in May 2021, which was aimed at faster patient recruitment and bringing down the cost of drug development for their clients.
The patient recruitment companies are also continuously expanding their portfolio. In addition to the patient enrollment service that targets biopharmaceutical industry, some companies also offer clinical trial matching services. Such services are targeted towards the patients and / or their physicians, allowing the aware and interested patients to find the right clinical trials for which they are eligible. Some clinical trial recruitment companies like Antidote and Foundation Medicine offer clinical trial matching services.
The patient recruitment services market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 8.2% over the forecast period of this market report. Owing to the need for large and diverse patient populations, phase III trials are anticipated to be responsible for the maximum share of revenues within this industry. Currently, in terms of therapeutic area, the market is captured by patient recruitment projects for trials evaluating drugs intended for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders. However, this trend is likely to change in the foreseen future with the rising clinical trials focusing on therapeutics targeting oncological disorders. Specifically, in terms of geography, the clinical trial patient recruitment services market in Asia Pacific is likely to grow at a relatively faster pace during the forecast period.
Several small and mid-sized players do not have dedicated patient enrolment teams and lack the necessary capabilities / expertise to successfully recruit desired number of patients in clinical trials. In some cases, the clinical studies are too large or geographically broad to be managed by internal staff. Further, the stringent ethical and regulatory guidelines associated with patient enrollment in trials impose a significant burden on drug developers. As a result, outsourcing has become a popular operating model with regards to patient recruitment and patient retention; several specialty clinical trial recruitment companies, with expertise and experience in this domain, are driving the market growth of this upcoming segment of the healthcare market. The advantages of engaging contract service providers are numerous and enable sponsors to meet their clinical research timelines and thereby, launch respective offerings as planned.
Over the past decade, the patient recruitment industry has witnessed tremendous increase in the use of social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter, and mobile applications for engaging and recruiting patients in clinical studies; these approaches are cost-effective and can be used to connect with diverse and hard-to-reach patient populations. In pursuit of capability and competence improvements, several service providers have also begun adopting and implementing modern technical strategies, such as Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Real-World Evidence (RWE) for patient enrolment; these novel methods tend to be more efficient and yield a narrow pool of potentially eligible participants for targeted mailings. As patient recruitment companies evaluate novel technologies to improve the success rate of patient enrolment and more drug developers outsource the recruitment operations, the global market size for patient recruitment services will continue to witness growth during the forecast period.
The primary challenge faced by patient recruitment and retention service providers is the lack of awareness amongst individuals regarding the clinical studies and the benefits offered to study participants. Further, pharmaceutical companies do not allocate adequate budget for carrying out the patient enrolment process. Specifically for clinical trials evaluating orphan drugs and personalized therapies, finding the specialized pool of eligible patients is a burdensome and costly task. During our research we came across more than 55 clinical trial recruitment companies who are offering services for rare diseases / personalized therapies.
Other challenges in this domain include fear of individuals about the adverse events associated with clinical trials, lack of communication between study participants and researchers due to language barrier, and large geographical distance between the patient’s residence and study site, which affect the participation and retention of patients in research studies.
Owing to rise in the number of clinical trials that seek to enroll millions of patients, and complexities associated with patient accrual, drug developers are likely to outsource the patient recruitment and retention process to service providers. The number of clinical trials registered on clinicaltrials.gov has increased exponentially from around 2,000 studies in the year 2000 to more than 400,000 trials in 2022 (as of July 31). The increase in the number of trials justifies the rise in the number of trial participants to be enrolled, which became prominent during the COVID-19 vaccine trials as they were large multi-centre and multi-country trials.
Moreover, we believe that increase in clinical development activity in emerging markets, availability of one-stop patient recruitment service providers, and stringent regulations related to patient enrollment are likely to provide further impetus to the market size for patient recruitment services.
Several recent developments have taken place in the field of patient recruitment and patient retention. We have outlined some of these recent initiatives below. These developments, even if they took place post the release of our market report, substantiate the overall market trends that have been outlined in our analysis.
Global Clinical Trial Patient Recruitment Services Market: Relevant Segmentations and insights
2022 – 2035
|Market Size 2022
Patient Recruitment Step
|Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, Phase 4
|Cardiovascular Diseases, Oncological Disorders, Infectious Diseases, CNS Disorders, Respiratory Disorders, Hematological Disorders, Dermatological Disorders, Ophthalmic Disorders, Others
|North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, MENA, Latin America, Rest of the World
The Clinical Trial Patient Recruitment Services Market report features an in-depth analysis, highlighting the capabilities of various stakeholders engaged in this domain. Amongst other elements, the report features:
One of the key objectives of the market report was to evaluate the current opportunity and the future growth potential of the clinical trial patient recruitment services market over the forecast period. We have provided an informed estimate on the likely evolution of the market in the short to mid-term and long term, for the period 2022-2035. The report also features a likely distribution of the current and forecasted opportunity across important parameters, such as [A] patient recruitment steps (pre-screening and screening), [B] trial phase (phase I, phase II, phase III and phase IV), [C] therapeutic area (cardiovascular disorders, oncological disorders, infectious diseases, CNS disorders, respiratory disorders, haematological disorders, metabolic disorders, dermatological disorders, ophthalmic disorders and others) and [D] key geographies (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and Rest of the World).
In order to account for future uncertainties and to add robustness to our model, we have provided three market forecast scenarios, namely conservative, base and optimistic scenarios, representing different tracks of the industry’s growth.
All actual figures have been sourced and analyzed from publicly available information forums and primary research discussions. Financial figures mentioned in this report are in USD, unless otherwise specified.
The opinions and insights presented in this market report were also influenced by discussions held with senior stakeholders in the industry. The research report features detailed transcripts of interviews held with the following individuals: