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New Greenphire Data Indicates Clinical Trial Industry’s Swift Rebound; Patient Enrollment Reaches Pre-Pandemic Levels

Research Spotlights the Need for Technological Solutions to Help Participants Suffering Through Financial and Logistical Hardships to Stay Enrolled in Studies

Greenphire, the global leader in financial lifecycle management for clinical trials, says patient enrollment for global clinical trials has returned to pre-COVID levels.

While there was a lull in new participant enrollment in the second quarter, new data from Greenphire indicates that new patient enrollment in trials that it provides services for globally has rebounded – up 85% since the trough in April, and has surpassed pre-COVID-19 participant enrollment trends (up 3% since January 2020). This trend reaches across geographic regions, with Europe experiencing a surge in new patient enrollment (up 6% since January 2020) and North America not far behind (up 5% since January 2020).

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This data comes off the heels of a survey conducted by Greenphire over the summer, in which 71% of the 150+ sponsors and CROs that answered said the pandemic forced them to pause existing study enrollments and 58% had delayed existing study starts.

“The industry was hit hard by COVID-19 and at one point, nearly all research came to a stop. It’s impressive to see the rebound in patient enrollment and the industry’s ability to respond so quickly, in part by leveraging new technologies which promote flexibility of how visits are conducted. We anticipate this trend will continue as 84% of our survey respondents said they are actively seeking to increase their use of tools to better support decentralized trials,” said Jim Murphy, Chief Executive Officer at Greenphire.

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Whether feeling the financial pinch of the coronavirus pandemic or concern of navigating safely outside of the home, participants in clinical trials today are shouldering increased costs and logistics of transportation, childcare, eldercare and more. As a result, sites have shifted their approach, offering local lab support and remote visits. While successful, these dramatic changes present challenges for sites who have reported increased workload and expenses for items such as PPE and remote monitoring tools.i

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Sponsors and CROs are eager to implement solutions that keep clinical trials operational and are not at patients’ and sites’ expense. Our survey data confirms that sponsors and CROs are committed to fostering enhanced relationships with sites in 2020 and beyond by:

  • Offering hybrid clinical trial solutions
  • Providing patient convenience solutions
  • Streamlining budget negotiations
  • Increasing site payment frequency

“The concept of using technology to help create value in a decentralized or hybrid trial environment isn’t new per se, but COVID-19 has certainly encouraged wider adoption by forcing everyone to find ways to bring greater connectivity between clinics and patients,” explained Kyle Cunningham, Chief Product Officer at Greenphire. “Timely patient reimbursements, even for small amounts tied to virtual visits, goes a long way to keep patients enrolled in clinical studies that will impact the lives of so many.”

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