Relentless Health Value Podcast: How Being Patient-Centric, Not Trial-Centric, Can Improve Clinical Trial Recruitment and Retention

The clinical trial landscape is shifting — but is it enough? Antidote’s Founder, Pablo Graiver, was recently interviewed for the Relentless Health Value podcast to discuss this fundamental question.

Pablo talks with host Stacey Richter about the many complexities around clinical trials, noting that while progress has been made to make trials more patient-centric, many recruitment methods are still fundamentally trial-centric, with negative effects on clinical trial recruitment and retention. He says, “Clinical trials offer a lot of hope and opportunity for patients with unmet medical needs, and it’s really important to make sure everyone has access to the information and eventually to participation in these trials.” Today, just a small percentage of patients take part in trials, and there are three methods employed for enrolling patients in trials:

  1. Doctors inform patients about their trial options. This works well because patients trust their doctors, but can be difficult because it is difficult for busy doctors to keep up with the latest options.
  2. Patients hear about a trial from other patients or online, and connect with study teams online. This works as well, but a lot of the information provided about clinical trials is difficult to understand, even for medical professionals.
  3. Research organizations (pharmaceutical companies, CROs, etc.) reach out to different patient populations to let them know they may qualify and try to bring them into the trial. The issue here is that this is done from the point of view of the study: it’s “will this patient work for this study?” not “is this the best trial for this patient?”

None of these are perfect, and the lack of participation points to the need for easily available, patient-friendly clinical trial information to help patients and their doctors select the best trials. In this podcast, Pablo likens the current approach to providing consumers with one flight they can take, without finding out any details about that consumer’s travel dates, destination, or budget. The better way, of course, is to gather this information upfront and provide as many options that meet the consumer’s needs as possible. And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do with Antidote Match.

As the landscape shifts, Pablo notes, there is reason to be optimistic. He says, “It may seem that things are stagnated and haven’t changed much, but that’s not true - when you look a little more carefully, there are many things that are changing.” While costs are rising and success in a trial is certainly not a given, current standards of care are getting better and better. But there are other issues at play as well. Pablo and Stacey also touch on the following:

  • Making clinical trials mainstream to drive awareness and patient participation
  • Sharing data across industry to spread knowledge and speed up research
  • Reporting of both negative and positive results to avoid making the same mistakes twice
  • Making trials less cumbersome for patients to foster willingness to take part
  • Ensuring diversity in clinical trials such that the patient population taking part in the trial mirrors that of the real world
  • Planning for the future of clinical trials in the world of precision medicine, where every clinical trial has essentially an n of one
  • Structuring eligibility criteria so that it is machine readable and searchable

To listen to the full podcast, visit

Topics: Podcast