• Joanna Thomson

The latest stats on patient-centricity and what they mean for your research

While recent events have paused the research of the Annual Patient-Centric Benchmark Survey by the Aurora Project, produced in collaboration with IPSOS MORI, there is still much to be said about their latest 2018 report. Many of the issues documented in the study are still reported by sites today, and so it is important we remember that looking back is a key part of moving forward. Today, we break down some of the key facts and figures listed in the report that every CRO and research site should be aware of.


Patient trust is near nonexistent


This might seem like an exaggeration, but the figures say otherwise. It was reported that only 36% of patients surveyed said they had ‘quite a bit’ or a ‘lot of trust’ in biopharma. When we compare this to the findings of the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer (ETB), the situation is far worse. The survey found that trust in all institutions (governments, corporations, the media and NGOs) is at an all-time low; highlighting an evident disconnect between the feelings of trustworthiness valued by institutions and that valued by patients. This issue is further explored in the Arora Report as it states that only three in ten respondents (30%) ranked their confidence in biopharmas implementing patient-focused mission as 8/10 or more. Again, we notice a total disconnect in feelings of trust.


Overconfidence doesn’t stop here


It’s not only patient trust statistics that seem to be at ends with opinion within the industry. In fact, biopharma associates and patients were asked the degree to which pharma is patient centered, using 10 key principles as a guide for their judgement. The result: patients consistently ranked biopharma companies lower than biopharma associates ranked themselves. On average, 57.5% biopharma associates ranked their own companies at 4 or above on a 5-point scale where 5 was ‘Strongly agree that they achieved each of the 10 standards’. Yet, 42% of patients ranked biopharma companies at 4 or above on a 5-point scale where 5 was ‘Strongly agree that they achieved each of the 10 standards’.


Again, a disconnect presents itself between the opinions of the patients and the researchers. When we consider that 69% of biopharma associates agree that ‘My customers would say that I help improve patient care’, we may also begin to notice cognitive bias present here as well.


So, how do we respond?


First-things-first, we need to remember that these stats were registered before the serious impact of COVID on trials and trial confidence; meaning that research sites everywhere should assume that patient confidence is lower than their instinctual estimations. While researchers could be branded as too optimistic in their approach to patient confidence, the solution is, equally, not about turning pessimistic - rather, it’s all about redistributing that positive energy into building a reliable platform.


We have a few articles in our archives that we think are ideal support in tackling this issue head-on:


While we should definitely be wary of what we consider a given, the fact that 76% of biopharma associates are confident that their company is making the world a better place is something to be proud of. With 81% of biopharma associates also proud to tell people outside the biopharma industry that they work in pharma, we have solid foundations to build our defense against these industry-crippling issues. What is paramount now is that research sites everywhere filter all their positivity into their patient recruitment and retention plans in order to give their patients the best experience possible.



Here at Citruslabs, we've created the ideal patient recruitment dashboard to help research sites improve their current metrics. Linked to our #1 health app, Mindmate, our patient recruitment dashboard directly connects researchers to over 3 million registered patients. Now, we would say that other models are available - but this would be a lie. In fact, unlike that offered by other patient recruitment companies, our easy-to-use dashboard is the first-of-its-kind for the market; giving researchers a unique insight into their patients’ wants and needs via industry-leading technology. The future of clinical recruitment starts here.

  • Interested in finding out more? Get in touch with us here, and check out our archives for all our top tips and tricks on running successful clinical trials in today's constantly changing industry.

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