The global clinical trial recruitment industry size was valued at USD 15.7 billion in 2021 and will grow at a healthy CAGR of 6.1% during the forecast period 2022-2030, according to the “Clinical Trial Recruitment Industry Data Book, 2023 – 2030,” published by Grand View Research. Soaring demand to enhance patient recruitment and expedite the time to market new drugs has underpinned the industry growth. Optimizing the recruitment process by introducing well-trained trial sites and live and in-platform translation facilities will encourage stakeholders to further their geographical footprint.
In addition, the adoption of AI and ML will gain traction in data collection and cleaning operations to minimize cost, as patient recruitment is regarded as one of the most expensive parts of a clinical trial. A study cited in Clinical Leader claimed that the cost of patient recruitment is around 40% of the clinical research, while almost 80% of all clinical trials fail to meet deadlines. Forward-looking companies are expected to bank on robust patient recruitment strategies to attract a high volume of interested candidates.
Patient recruitment has received an impetus to foster clinical trials by adopting a site-centric approach. Industry leaders have exhibited an increased inclination for patient retention through the use of state-of-the-art technologies to streamline the trial search. Advanced software applications can bolster the recruitment process based on online activity, patient location, medical profile and demographics. The clinical trial patient recruitment market size was pegged at USD 780 million in 2021 and will observe a robust CAGR of 8% during the forecast period. The growth trajectory is partly linked to a surge in efforts to expedite drug approvals, meet trial timelines and therapeutics studies for managing and curing rare diseases.
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An uptake in phase 3 clinical trials has fueled the footprint of clinical trial services across emerging and advanced economies. The need to develop new drugs and treatments to boost the survival rates of people suffering from rare diseases will trigger investment in the market. Phase III trials play an invaluable role in drugs garnering approval from the FDA. Besides, a surge in clinical studies will encourage stakeholders to further their penetration across the global landscape. The clinical trial support services market is expected to witness a robust CAGR of 6.1% during the assessment period.
Some trends, opportunities and drivers to look out for over the next few years are highlighted below:
- The emergence of decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) has boded well for the global market, as DCTs can reduce or eliminate the need to travel to sites. Advanced technologies, including wearables, smartphones and patient apps will remain pivotal to communicating with CROs.
- The clinical trial site management has gained prominence to help provide advanced medical knowledge and deliver new therapies and patient care. Besides, a rise in the commercialization of drugs will also foster market demand.
- Asia Pacific will account for a considerable share of the global market in the wake of the bullish conduct of clinical trials across China, India, Japan and Australia.
North America clinical trial recruitment industry growth will gain ground on the heels of the rising footprint of pharmaceutical firms across the region. Besides, the prevalence of infectious diseases and soaring cancer cases across the U.S. have prompted well-established players to augment their clinical trial activities. The American Cancer Society forecasts approximately 238,340 new lung cancer cases in the U.S. in 2023.
Clinical trials are largely attributed to enhancing diagnosis, prevention, treatment and quality of life. According to the American Cancer Society report cited on CNN in January 2023, around 3.8 million cancer deaths have been averted since 1991, translating to a 33% dip. The decline in cancer mortality is linked to advancements in cancer treatment, a surge in early detection and a drop in smoking. The U.S. and Canada are well-positioned to witness investment galore in clinical trial activities.
The competitive landscape alludes to the infusion of funds into organic and inorganic growth strategies, such as R&D activities, technological advancements, mergers & acquisitions and collaboration. To illustrate, in September 2022, Pfizer and Sangamo Therapeutics teamed up to announce that the phase 3 trial of an investigational gene therapy has re-opened recruitment. They expect to witness a pivotal readout in the first half of 2024, while all trial sites were anticipated to be active by 2022-end.