As an industry, we assign considerable resources and money to the recruitment and enrollment of patients, but tend to focus less effort on finding patients that drop out of the trial. We know that lost patients compromise the integrity of our data, and therefore regulatory submissions. However, replacing lost patients with new patients costs money and takes time. It is more cost effective and efficient to retain patients in a clinical trial rather than to recruit new patients. So, why aren’t we better at tracking down missing patients?
Locating and contacting missing patients is a time-consuming exercise, one that sites are often ill-equipped to handle, in terms of time, manpower and resources. Bioclinica’s L2FU™ reconnects sites with their patients who are lost to follow-up, and therefore their important data. Our L2FU™ team, which is a part of our Global Clinical Recruitment division, is able to locate patients in more than 55 countries worldwide, taking an average of only 48 hours in the US and 10 days globally. While other companies may provide the same service, they do not have the same knowledge of clinical research, patients and patient process that our L2FU™ team does. This greatly limits their ability to reach the same success as our 90% success rate.
Patient privacy is always of utmost concern. L2FU’s tiered search approach is supported by our secure online portal that facilitates encrypted exchange of patient information. This online portal also allows access by sponsors and sites alike to real-time reporting, so, at any point, you can see where a lost patient is in the process.
For one recent study, the FDA requested health and vital status information, 10 years after the study started. Our L2FU team established contact information and vital status updates for 282 patients who had been lost to follow-up, providing the sponsor and therefore the FDA with the information they needed. Ideally, our team would support the study from the start, to find patients immediately after being lost. This minimizes the effect of missing data and allows us to become a great resource for already overburdened sites. However, we can step in at any time to find patients who are lost to follow-up.
Our L2FU™ clients include a range of diverse biopharmaceutical sponsors, clinical research organizations (CROs), academic clinical research organizations, health care systems and universities. Wherever there is a patient lost to follow-up, our L2FU™ team can assist in finding them so their precious data is not lost.
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