How to Choose the Best Site for Your Clinical Trial: Location, Location

Finding the right research site to conduct your clinical trial can be a stressful process; research sites are the heart and soul of clinical trials and are essential to the successful execution of clinical trials. Choosing the wrong research site could create significant problems with your research study; according to research from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD), 37% of sites selected for clinical trial studies under-enroll, and 11 percent fail to enroll a single subject. Eventually, 89 percent of studies meet enrollment goals, but often at the expense of sponsors faced with doubling the original timeline due to poor enrollment.

Let’s get started selecting your research site! First things first, what type of study is being conducted and what is the targeted patient population? The actual geographical location and the population of that location are crucial and are the most important part of selecting a new site. Finding a location that can provide both of those elements will help to weed out any site that won’t be able to deliver those aspects of the trial.

Since the patients participating in your clinical trial will most likely be living in the area where the research site is located, you need to consider every aspect of that area. Research the climate, the altitude, any aspect of that location can become an essential part of a patient’s reaction or recovery to the trial. Don’t forget that those patients will be required to travel to the site for the trial, so make sure you can find a research site in an easily accessible location.

So you think you found the right site to conduct your clinical trial, that’s great! Next step is to look at the population of that area and see if they can supply the right patients for your study. Do they fit the criteria? Are there enough surrounding areas that you can pull from if you end up having a hard time in the enrollment process? Keeping all these factors in mind when selecting your site can help to prevent problems down the line.

Now you have narrowed down to your potential site, your research organization needs to do their homework on the site itself. Picking a site with experience in the type of research you are trying to study is a huge plus, since they already would be familiar with the type of research you want to conduct. This can reduce the number of difficulties that could occur when implementing the trial protocol. Selecting a research site that has patients that are currently being treated for the disease in question would give your organization a few patients to enroll right off the bat!

Finding a location for your research site can be a challenge, but optimizing the site selection process provides a common goal. By using a strict set of criteria for where you want to conduct your clinical trial, your research organization will be able to quickly start enrollment and begin your research!

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