Boosting Clinical Trials: Leveraging CRM to Maximize Efficiency and Effectiveness

Boosting Clinical Trials: Leveraging CRM to Maximize Efficiency and Effectiveness

Author: Sharda Kumari; Publication Date: January 19, 2017

Implementing CRM in the pharmaceutical industry

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategy that helps organizations improve
customer satisfaction and loyalty by leveraging customer data and insights to tailor experiences
and interactions (Kotorov, 2015). CRM technology includes a range of tools and platforms for
collecting and managing customer information, such as demographic data, buying behavior, and

In the pharmaceutical industry, CRM technology can be applied to various aspects of the
business, including clinical trials. Leveraging CRM in clinical trials can improve efficiency and
reduce costs by streamlining data collection and analysis, enhancing patient recruitment and
retention, and enabling more effective study management (Babiarz et al., 2016). For example,
electronic data capture (EDC) tools within CRM platforms can simplify the data collection
process, reducing the risk of human error and speeding up the analysis of trial results (Shah et
al., 2015). CRM can also be used to manage patient data, enabling more targeted and
personalized recruitment efforts, as well as better tracking of patient engagement and retention
during the trial process (Babiarz et al., 2016). In addition to improving efficiency and reducing
costs, CRM can also improve patient outcomes by enabling more effective communication and
collaboration among stakeholders in the clinical trial process (Shah et al., 2015). By providing
real-time access to trial data and insights, CRM technology can enable more informed
decision-making, leading to more effective treatments and better patient outcomes.

Electronic Data Capture (EDC) and its impact on clinical trials

Electronic Data Capture (EDC) is a technology used to collect and manage clinical trial data in
electronic form, replacing traditional paper-based methods. EDC is designed to streamline data
collection, improve data accuracy, and enhance data security (Kuchinke et al., 2014). EDC
allows for the collection of real-time data, enabling faster analysis, and decision-making
(Haynes et al., 2009). Additionally, EDC software can include built-in validations and edit checks
to help ensure that data is entered correctly, reducing data errors and discrepancies (Kuchinke
et al., 2014).

One of the most significant benefits of EDC is its potential to improve regulatory compliance.
EDC allows for secure electronic storage of data, making it easier to maintain complete and
accurate records of all study activities (Deville et al., 2013). This can help ensure that clinical
trials comply with regulatory requirements and can facilitate audits and inspections.

Despite its benefits, EDC implementation can present challenges such as the need for
specialized training, the high cost of software acquisition and maintenance, and integration with
other data management systems (Deville et al., 2013). Additionally, challenges can arise when
implementing EDC in multicenter trials, which require coordination between various sites and
investigators (Haynes et al., 2009). These challenges can be mitigated through careful planning,
stakeholder engagement, and dedicated support (Kuchinke et al., 2014).

Patient Recruitment and Retention using CRM

Clinical trials are an essential component of drug development, yet patient recruitment and
retention remain a major challenge. A successful patient recruitment and retention strategy is
critical to the success of clinical trials, and customer relationship management (CRM) can play a
vital role in this process. CRM provides a systematic approach to managing patient interactions,
allowing for targeted messaging and engagement, personalized patient experiences, and
effective communication channels. Studies have shown that effective use of CRM tools can
increase patient recruitment and retention rates in clinical trials, leading to more efficient drug
development processes and improved patient outcomes.

One example of a successful CRM-driven patient recruitment and retention initiative is the
"Partners in D" program developed by Amgen. The program aimed to recruit patients for a
clinical trial testing the efficacy of a vitamin D supplement. The initiative used a range of CRM
tools, including personalized messaging, online patient portals, and social media engagement,
to encourage patient participation and retention. The program's success was demonstrated by
the high recruitment and retention rates, which exceeded industry standards. Incorporating
CRM tools into patient recruitment and retention strategies has the potential to significantly
improve the efficiency of clinical trials. By focusing on targeted messaging and engagement,
personalized patient experiences, and effective communication channels, companies can
develop successful CRM-driven patient recruitment and retention initiatives that ultimately lead
to improved patient outcomes.

Study Management and CRM

Clinical trial management is a complex process that requires careful planning, execution, and
monitoring. The use of customer relationship management (CRM) tools can help streamline
these activities and improve overall study management (Goble & Fields, 2014). CRM allows for
better collaboration and communication among stakeholders, greater visibility into trial progress
and outcomes, and enhanced regulatory compliance. By centralizing study data in one location,
CRM tools can help teams make more informed decisions and manage trials more effectively.

One example of successful CRM-driven study management is the use of the Salesforce
platform by Pfizer (DeBastiani & DeLisle, 2016). The company implemented Salesforce to
manage clinical trial data and improve communication among its research teams. The platform
allowed Pfizer to consolidate study data from various sources and provide real-time updates to
all stakeholders. This led to improved collaboration and efficiency in study planning and
execution, resulting in faster drug development timelines.

Another example is the use of Veeva Vault by Roche (Goble & Fields, 2014). The platform
provided a centralized location for managing clinical trial data, including study protocols,
documents, and reports. This allowed Roche to better manage trial activities, track progress,
and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. The platform also enabled better
collaboration among stakeholders, improving communication and reducing the risk of errors or


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