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Acurian: Maximizing Revenue through Better Patient Recruitment



Rick Malcolm from Acurian, a solution provider at the marcus evans Evolution Summit 2011, on accelerating patient recruitment in clinical trials.

Interview with: Rick Malcolm, Chief Executive Officer, Acurian


There are opportunities to accelerate late phase drug development beyond those that are usually employed, according to Rick Malcolm, Chief Executive Officer, Acurian. External patient recruitment services could supplement recruitment from investigative sites, to save time and money in an industry where time is money and the patent clock always ticking. 

From a solution provider company at the marcus evans Evolution Summit 2011 in Hollywood, Florida, May 4-6, Malcolm discusses the financial benefits of enhancing patient recruitment and the role that the Internet and social media can play to accelerate the process.

What is slowing down the clinical trials industry?

Rick Malcolm: Access to patients is a major issue for organizations conducting Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials. Over the last decade there has been a globalization of trials driven largely to accelerate approval time and to improve access to patients. As the complexity of trials has increased, it has become more difficult to find people with the appropriate medical conditions or situations to qualify for them. 

Completing trials in a timely fashion continues to be one of the major problems that drug developers deal with. The longer a trial takes, the more it costs the pharmaceutical or biotechnology company. Speeding up the process even by a few months would translate into huge savings, given the tremendous amount of money involved in getting drugs approved and on the market. There is a significant opportunity to maximize revenue if this is properly managed. Patent time is finite. A faster patient recruitment time will yield results many times larger than the costs involved.

How can the return on such investments be maximized?

Rick Malcolm: One of best ways to do that is to anticipate from the early stages of the trial that you will utilize such services. A good and economical trial cannot be performed in a rush, so this requires a degree of pre-planning.

As is the case with buying goods, companies need to ensure they are getting value for their money. There are concerns over internet patient privacy, so organizations should make sure the vendor has the right processes and procedures in place so that privacy and confidentiality of medical information are not compromised.

How can e-recruiting and social media be better utilized?

Rick Malcolm: There has been an increase in the use of e-recruitment or Internet-based techniques to make people aware of and to potentially screen people for participation in clinical trials. More and more people are using the Internet to gather information about their health or explore healthcare options, and I expect this trend to continue.

Social media have received a lot of attention recently. The number of people on Facebook exceeds the total volume of people in the US watching television on the three major networks. There are millions of people around the world using Facebook on a frequent basis, so we need to recognize the change in the way people seek information and reposition how we choose to reach out to them. The industry could make better use of such tools. 

Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian
Press Manager
marcus evans, Summits Division
Tel: + 357 22 849 313

About the Evolution Summit 2011

This unique forum will take place at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida, May 4 – 6, 2011. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The summit includes presentations on the future of drug development, developing a culture of safety and maximizing return on investment.

For more information please send an email to or visit the event website

marcus evans group - life sciences/pharma sector portal

Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-on-one business meetings. For more information, please visit 

About Acurian

Acurian is the global leader in clinical trial patient recruitment and retention solutions. Our predictive models, proven processes and cutting-edge technology combine with years of experience to take the guesswork and uncertainty out of patient recruitment. Since 1998, Acurian has supported over 400 protocols for more than 60 companies worldwide.

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