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Patient differences recruiting rheumatoid arthritis globally

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Second of two parts

In the May 2017 issue of The CenterWatch Monthly, findings from INC Research’s study of clinical trial perceptions among rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients were highlighted. The study collected insights from RA patients in the U.S., U.K., Poland, Japan and Mexico, which helped show how best to engage with patients around the world.

In Mexico, RA patients are much more likely to enroll in a clinical trial, and as seen in previous studies of Hispanic populations, family approval of the decision to participate is important. Mexico was also the only country surveyed where recruitment through advertisement was generally accepted, and, in fact, almost equally preferred to recruitment through a physician or rheumatologist. Advertising for clinical trials may be particularly effective in Mexico, especially when the patient’s family is considered as an additional target audience for clinical trial communications.

RA patients from the U.S., U.K. and Poland were similar in their answers, suggesting that lessons learned can be transferred between these countries and possibly between the U.S. and European countries in general. This is especially significant in other indications where studies of patients’ perceptions have primarily been conducted in the U.S.

In Japan, however, responses were significantly distinct with a remarkable focus on the convenience and flexibility of study visits. Japanese patients were generally less satisfied with the cost and effectiveness of their treatment and many were unable to afford the medication they felt worked best for them. In spite of a seemingly bigger incentive, Japanese RA patients were much less likely to enroll than patients in other countries, possibly due to higher prevalence of safety concerns around clinical trials.

Designing clinical trials with flexibility in mind and communicating contingency plans and safety procedures to prospective participants may hold significant value to this demographic.

Guest Contributor Emil Hoeck is a member of the Site and Patient Access team within INC Research; Hoeck contributes to strategic site relationships and process improvement at INC Research, drawing on past experiences from working at a research site and as head of QA in a small CRO. Hoeck has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals, and graduates as M.Sc. in Medicine with Industrial Specialization in July 2017 from Aalborg University.

This article was reprinted from Volume 24, Issue 06, of The CenterWatch Monthly, an industry leading publication providing hard-hitting, authoritative business and financial coverage of the clinical research space. The Action Items section features short columns  focusing on actionable or how-to advice from clinical trial professionals. To submit an Action Item, please contact editorial@centerwatch.com. Subscribe >>

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