5 Types of Clinical Trial Patient Recruitment Agencies to Consider

While all clinical trial patient recruitment agencies can help support trial enrollment, they're not all created equal. While many companies offer a blend of services, there are still a few different distinct types of agencies that you'll run into while researching your options. Each have different strengths and weaknesses based on your patient population and the other needs of your trial. Take a look at the types below, then use our patient recruitment companies guide for more ideas.

Digital recruitment agencies

These recruitment companies use online advertising on Facebook, Google, and other channels to reach patients. They may use keyword targeting, display ads, interest targeting, or other tools to precisely target ads. Digital recruitment companies prepare outreach materials to submit to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for your trial, choose advertising channels, and manage campaigns after they launch. With digital advertising, it's easy to make adjustments to targeting throughout a trial to improve results. Digital recruitment agencies can set up a regular reporting schedule with your trial so you're always up to date on recruitment progress.

Agencies with a partner network

Some recruitment companies work together with partners to identify patients that may be right for your trial. Companies may partner with nonprofit organizations and local patient groups to connect with patients via digital channels or in-person events. They may also work together with other marketing companies, if they don't specialize in targeting. Partner networks can help give recruitment companies additional avenues to connect with patients who may already be informed about clinical trials. Partners can also help strengthen your message and improve trust with patients when sharing trial opportunities.

Patient database companies

Another popular approach recruitment companies take is building up a database. Recruitment companies may bring patients into their database through online advertising or through past trials. While this can be a useful solution, as patients likely already have some knowledge of clinical research, it's important to keep databases updated with the most recent information about patients in order for their contact information to most useful.

Agencies that specialize in additional services

Of course, there's much more to running a clinical trial than patient recruitment. Some companies also offer other services, such as developing a trial pre-screener, asking follow-up questions over the phone, or retention services. Some companies offer recruitment but may specialize in another part of running a clinical trial, such as site selection.

Some recruitment companies also specialize in particular condition areas, such as rare diseases or neurological conditions, or in "rescue" trials that require a fast turnaround on a new recruitment plan. As you're researching patient recruitment companies, consider what additional services or specialities would be most helpful for running your trial.

Antidote is a patient-focused recruitment company that uses technology to connect with patients and our network of 270+ health nonprofits and patient advocates. Learn more about our services and successes by downloading our case studies.