South African recruitment spells success for global gout study

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When recruitment lagged in a global gout trial, Novotech’s deep knowledge of the Asia Pacific region identified South Africa as a potential new location. Using innovative recruitment techniques, our solution was a resounding success to help achieve global recruitment targets.

The Background

The rising global prevalence of gout largely attributed to an increasing westernized diet, combined with a growing number of patients suffering from difficult-to-treat gout, for whom the standard therapies are inappropriate – supports the need to develop new treatments.

Novotech was appointed by a US biopharmaceutical company to initially manage Asia Pacific sites of a global phase IV gout study, and then also asked to take over management from a global CRO, of a suite of phase III studies in a similar indication.

The Challenge

Strict patient inclusion criteria and frequent and numerous patient study visits, posed serious challenges for recruitment across the 200+ sites worldwide.

Early into both phase IV and phase III studies, it became clear that global recruitment targets would not meet study timelines. At this point, the sponsor sought ideas from Novotech to help bring the trial back on track.

Our Actions

Novotech immediately leveraged our global reach and local knowledge to perform feasibility assessments in additional countries within our network. 

South Africa was soon uncovered as an ideal location for the study due to a high-number of people with inadequately treated gout. With sponsor approval an additional 18 sites in South Africa were initiated.

Novotech also embarked on an extensive and innovative recruitment campaign targeted at the desired patient group.

Public Relations

We partnered with a PR agency to develop a mass media communication plan to raise awareness of the study, which included a televised interview with the study’s Principal Investigator and extensive newspaper coverage to educate on gout management and advertise the studies.  

Innovative digital recruitment

Novotech also worked with the study sponsor and two global patient recruitment companies to implement innovative digital recruitment strategies including Google and Facebook advertising.

Targeted Advertising

The recruitment campaign also included traditional advertising in the form of flyers, posters and GP mail outs – to directly reach the target audience.

The Results

Novotech’s South African solution was a resounding success – contributing 14% and 16% of the patients enrolled globally for the phase IV and III studies, respectively.

Novotech’s responsiveness, proactive service and innovative and strategic collaboration - produced an effective patient outreach program to help achieve global recruitment targets.