Only 75% of patients that begin clinical trials for drugs fully complete, according to a recent study by Cutting Edge Information(Research Triangle Park, North Carolina), noting several reasons for this low completion rate.

The reasons for departure from a study vary from boredom to inability to get to the examination sites to feelings that the trials are not helping their ailment. Additionally, patients often complain that the risks and requirements of the study were not adequately reported to them prior to enrollment.

With the average per-patient cost of clinical trials ranging from about $5,500 in Phase I to $7,600 in Phase III, pharma companies stand to lose a great deal from such high patient turnover rates.

One way companies have been trying to improve retention of participants is through communication initiatives. The study said that at the beginning of a trial patients must be fully aware of the parameters and have access to communication avenues for questions. The best results involved treating patients as clients. Companies must treat patients with respect, define the trial for them, and keep them informed throughout the process.