SMI Launches Patient Recruitment Arm to Increase Enrollment in Clinical Trials
News Jun 19, 2008
SMI announced has the launch of SMI Clinical Trials, a patient recruitment division designed to accelerate the clinical trial recruitment and enrollment process and reduce per-patient recruitment costs.
SMI is an out-of-home marketing firm that connects advertisers to their target audiences through sponsored patient education programs at the point of care, including physicians’ offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Clinical trials placement veteran Barry Crescenzi has been named director of patient recruitment.
According to CenterWatch(SM), a Clinical Trials Listing Service™, difficulties in patient enrollment delay 81% of all clinical trials one to six months, and another five percent longer. The National Cancer Institute cites various barriers among patients and physicians that contribute to the delays.
The lack of volunteers for trials is fueled by minimal awareness and access, as well as apprehension and fear of being treated like “guinea pigs.” Amongst the medical community, lack of awareness of appropriate clinical trials, fear of losing control of patients’ care, and perceived administrative burdens are among the obstacles.
“The delay of clinical trials prevents potentially life-saving drugs from receiving FDA-approval and widespread use,” says Crescenzi. “SMI combats this problem by leveraging our extensive physician network to help CROs find individuals to participate in clinical trials, and by implementing our Point-of-Care Marketing programs to encourage patients to enroll in appropriate clinical trials.”
With a network of 250,000 healthcare facilities totaling 400,000 physicians, SMI traditionally works with pharmaceutical companies to provide sponsored patient education activities that drive brand awareness and increase revenue.
Educational health panels, branded exam table paper, direct mail, and mobile marketing have proven to produce tremendous recall rates among patients, and help stimulate conversations between trusted healthcare professionals and their patients.
Fifty-two percent of patients take action after seeing an advertisement at the point of care, compared to 39% that take action after seeing or hearing an advertisement on television, radio, or in print, according to Harris Interactive. SMI has also found that nearly one-third of patients discuss in-office brochures and advertisements at the point of care with their physicians.