ePharmaSolutions' ReferralPlus increases match rate for trial volunteers
ePharmaSolutions, a provider of eClinical solutions, says results of initial pilot studies for its patient matching and triaging solution, ReferralPlus, show a significant improvement in match rates for people actively searching for clinical trials in which to participate.
"With the help of several major pharmaceutical companies and our partner CenterWatch, we were able to increase pre-qualified referral rates by 60%,” said Lisa La Luna, ePharmaSolutions' senior vice president of corporate development, “by offering patients options to screen for multiple studies at the same time when they respond to recruitment advertisements.”
ReferralPlus matches patients who disqualify for one study with other studies for which they might qualify, using a geo-therapeutic matching algorithm that searches studies listed on its technology. The concept is based on the fact that 95% of patients who respond to a recruitment advertisement do not qualify and/or enroll in that study. Most of those patients are left without options and never find another study for which they qualify and enroll.
In 2012, ePharmaSolutions organized more than 30 major pharmaceutical companies and CROs to participate in pilots to determine if they could help increase enrollment rates by triaging/matching patients who disqualified from one clinical trial to trials listed by other participating sponsors. The pilots started at the end of 2013, with early results showing a significant improvement in cross-study matching, which will offer significant economic advantages to pharmaceutical companies recruiting patients, while providing patients with more opportunities to find the right study.
The pilot data came from three pharmaceutical companies who listed their studies on the CenterWatch web listing service and used the ReferralPlus screening and matching solution. None of the pilot studies included an advertising outreach budget. The results showed:
- 33% of the total patients who screened for one study were eligible for and referred to a study site
- 18% of patients who disqualified from the first study pre-qualified and were referred to another study
- 50% of patients who disqualified from any of the studies listed registered to be contacted about future studies.
"The data is especially compelling due to the small number of studies we piloted with a low number of sites and absence of real direct-to-patient outreach," said Wes Martz, head of patient recruitment and retention for ePharmaSolutions. "As we move into production with hundreds of studies and thousands of sites, the chances to match pre-qualified patients with actively recruiting studies will increase exponentially, proving a valuable service for patients while decreasing overall recruitment costs for the industry.”