The speed at which a clinical trial is completed can mean the difference between ‘first to market’ and a ‘me too’ product for pharmaceutical companies, and the resulting financial implications can be astronomical. Numerous requirements can make it difficult to enlist qualified participants and retaining those that do enroll is a struggle. As a result, the industry is ripe for a new approach that could shorten the trial duration, improve retention, and produce complete, reliable results. Such a solution could reshape the industry.
While the traditional trial protocol is lengthy, time-intensive, and fraught with outdated processes, it is still prevalent, even as clinical trials continue to grow in complexity. Not only is this approach time-consuming, it’s also extremely costly, particularly if the trial includes a population that has difficulty traveling to clinical facilities. As today’s generation continues to demand better solutions, easier processes, quicker answers, and modern technology, the disparity in expectations between study organizers and potential participants only grows.
Incorporating virtual visits into traditional clinical trial protocols can alleviate much of the burden typically placed on participants. This simple change can significantly increase patient adherence and retention rates resulting in reduced overall costs of the trial. Virtual solutions enable easy access to principal investigators and provide a method for direct communication. Patients feel more connected and collaborative leading to a more holistic experience. These benefits translate into increased profitability that can save pharmaceutical companies millions of dollars.
Four primary sources of cost-reduction with virtual clinical visits
Reduce time to recruit participants – research shows that 54% of potential patients indicated home-based/ virtual research visits would increase the likelihood of their clinical trial participation.*
Reduce the cost of dropped patients – eliminating the need for participants to travel long distances for in-person visits at clinical facilities reduces the number of dropped patients, saving an estimated $5000 per patient.**
Reduce drop-out rate – drop-out rates decrease from approximately 30% to 5% when virtual visits are available since participants are able to review their status and successes via an easy-to-use app, maintain consistent communication, and spend less travel time.***
Increase participant adherence – with an always-available communication path via phone, text, and video, participants have easy access to principal investigators to ask questions and are more likely to comply properly with test requirements, saving an estimated $450 per instance of non-compliance.**
The evolution to a hybrid approach for clinical trials is already underway and showing great success. VirTrial is an innovative company in this space and represents ‘The Future of Virtual Clinical Trials’. Contact VirTrial to learn more or schedule a demonstration.
Mark S. Hanley
*Pharmpro, “Are Site-Less Trials the Future of Clinical Research?”
**Cenduit, Science of Patient Reminders
***Center Point internal review, C. Morgan, “Are Clinical Research Site a Dying Paradigm?”