The results of a survey of 432 clinical trial research sites reveals that only 44% of sites offer patient transportation assistance, underscoring a long-standing barrier that pharmaceutical companies face in recruiting and retaining patients for clinical trials.
The new research, published in a white paper by Continuum Clinical, a global healthcare research and communications company, also revealed that the use of ride sharing services such as Lyft and Uber are on the rise, but still lag behind more traditional transportation methods. Of the sites that do provide patient transportation assistance, 58% rely on taxi services, while 32% utilize rideshare services.
Results from the survey also show that the majority of study sites that do provide transportation assistance found that this added responsibility, while important, increased their workload.
“By offering a seamless transportation option to patients, we’re empowering them, while at the same time allowing study sites to focus more on patient care than transportation coordination,” said Nariman Nasser, vice president of site optimization at Continuum Clinical.
In January, Continuum announced its partnership with Lyft to provide patient transportation solutions for patients enrolled in clinical trials. Continuum works with pharmaceutical companies to recruit patients for their clinical trials through strategic patient outreach communications.
Currently, the Lyft partnership is being utilized in ulcerative colitis, chronic kidney disease and lupus studies.
“We are now actively using this service on multiple clinical trials, and are confident that this will boost enrollment & retention,” said Nasser.
Continuum anticipates having complete transportation utilization data from these studies this fall.