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Acurian: Maximizing Revenue through Better Patient Recruitment

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Interview with: Rick Malcolm, Chief Executive Officer, Acurian

There are opportunities to accelerate late phase drug development beyond those that are usually employed, according to Rick Malcolm, Chief Executive Officer, Acurian. External patient recruitment services could supplement recruitment from investigative sites, to save time and money in an industry where time is money and the patent clock always ticking.  

From a solution provider company at the marcus evans Evolution Summit 2011 in Hollywood, Florida, May 4-6, Malcolm discusses the financial benefits of enhancing patient recruitment and the role that the Internet and social media can play to accelerate the process.

What is slowing down the clinical trials industry?

Rick Malcolm: Access to patients is a major issue for organizations conducting Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials. Over the last decade there has been a globalization of trials driven largely to accelerate approval time and to improve access to patients. As the complexity of trials has increased, it has become more difficult to find people with the appropriate medical conditions or situations to qualify for them.  

Completing trials in a timely fashion continues to be one of the major problems that drug developers deal with. The longer a trial takes, the more it costs the pharmaceutical or biotechnology company. Speeding up the process even by a few months would translate into huge savings, given the tremendous amount of money involved in getting drugs approved and on the market. There is a significant opportunity to maximize revenue if this is properly managed. Patent time is finite. A faster patient recruitment time will yield results many times larger than the costs involved.

How can the return on such investments be maximized?

Rick Malcolm: One of best ways to do that is to anticipate from the early stages of the trial that you will utilize such services. A good and economical trial cannot be performed in a rush, so this requires a degree of pre-planning.

As is the case with buying goods, companies need to ensure they are getting value for their money. There are concerns over internet patient privacy, so organizations should make sure the vendor has the right processes and procedures in place so that privacy and confidentiality of medical information are not compromised.

How can e-recruiting and social media be better utilized?

Rick Malcolm: There has been an increase in the use of e-recruitment or Internet-based techniques to make people aware of and to potentially screen people for participation in clinical trials. More and more people are using the Internet to gather information about their health or explore healthcare options, and I expect this trend to continue.

Social media have received a lot of attention recently. The number of people on Facebook exceeds the total volume of people in the US watching television on the three major networks. There are millions of people around the world using Facebook on a frequent basis, so we need to recognize the change in the way people seek information and reposition how we choose to reach out to them. The industry could make better use of such tools.  

Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division

About the Evolution Summit 2011

This unique forum will take place at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida, May 4-6, 2011. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The summit includes presentations on the future of drug development, developing a culture of safety and maximizing return on investment.

For more information please contact Jana Urbanovska at news@marcusevanscy.com or visit the event website at http://www.evolutionsummit.com/media_TN_rm