A Patient Recruitment Organisation (PRO) is an organisation that provides direct to consumer marketing services specifically related to clinical trials. The goal is to interest patients to participate in the clinical research study being marketed. Services provided by a patient recruitment organisation are contracted for by contract research organisations (CRO), pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, medical device companies or clinical sites. Clinical research sites are usually hospitals, community based clinics, dedicated clinical research centres, site management organisations or a health care institution that has staff experienced to meet the requirements of the clinical trial protocol. Some (but not all) of the PRO’s responsibilities include: • Global development of patient and family oriented materials • Submission for Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee (IRB/IEC) approval • Patient Pre-screening to meet the study’s requirements • Patient Recruitment • Patient Retention • Patient Follow-up including Lost-to-Follow-Up • Informed consent form (ICF) translation into vernacular language • Ensuring protocol compliance of study patients • Ensuring that all programmes developed meet ICH-GCP guidelines
Patient recruitment specialty firms are relatively new entrants into the field of clinical research. They first emerged in the U.S. in the 1990s, and in recent years their reach has extended to Eastern Europe, Pan Asia, Australasia, Latin America and South Africa, where clinical trial outsourcing has been at its peak. In 1991, MediciGlobal was the first company to emerge specifically dedicated to accelerating clinical enrolment of patients. Other firms such as [BBK] and [Matthews Media] expanded their existing public relations business to offer patient recruitment services. To deliver patient recruitment and retention globally, MediciGlobal's President and CEO, Liz Moench says that recruitment firms have to be "Glocal"; bringing global planning yet local implementation of all patient recruitment materials and strategies.
List of Patient Recruitment Organisations
Some of the leading patient recruitment specialty firms are:
• MediciGlobal • BBK • Matthews Media • FastForward Olgilvy • Acurian • Healthcare Communications Group • ThreeWire
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