SMI Health Media

SMI Launches Patient Recruitment Arm to Increase Enrollment in Clinical Trials

Point-of-Care Marketing Company Leveraging Out-of-Home Media Tactics to Inform Physicians, Increase Volunteers for Clinical Trials

King of Prussia, PA - June 17, 2008 - SMI announced today the launch of SMI Clinical Trials, a patient recruitment division designed to accelerate the clinical trial recruitment and enrollment process and reduce per-patient recruitment costs for every trial phase. SMI is an out-of-home marketing firm that connects advertisers to their target audiences through sponsored patient education programs at the point of care, including physicians' offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Clinical trials placement veteran Barry Crescenzi has been named director patient recruitment.

According to CenterWatch, a Clinical Trials Listing Service™, difficulties in patient enrollment delay 81 percent of all clinical trials one to six months, with another five percent longer. The National Cancer Institute cites various barriers among patients and physicians that contribute to the delay of clinical trials. The lack of volunteers for trials is fueled by minimal awareness and access, as well as apprehension and fear of being treated like “guinea pigs.” Amongst the medical community, lack of awareness of appropriate clinical trials, fear of losing control of patients' care, and perceived administrative burdens are among the obstacles. Drug companies stand to lose between $600,000 and $8 million each day clinical trials delay a drug's development and launch. These costs exacerbate already rising healthcare costs in the United States.

“The delay of clinical trials prevents potentially life-saving drugs from receiving FDA-approval and widespread use,” says Crescenzi. “SMI aims to combat this problem by leveraging our extensive physician network to help CROs find individuals to participate in clinical trials, and by implementing our Point-of-Care Marketing programs to encourage patients to enroll in appropriate clinical trials.” With a network of 250,000 healthcare facilities totaling 400,000 physicians, SMI traditionally works with pharmaceutical companies to provide sponsored patient education activities that drive brand awareness and increase revenue. Educational health panels, branded exam table paper, direct mail, and mobile marketing have proven to produce tremendous recall rates among patients, and help stimulate conversations between trusted healthcare professionals and their patients.

Fifty-two percent of patients take action such as initiating dialogue with their physicians after seeing an advertisement at the point of care, compared to 39% that take action after seeing or hearing an advertisement on television, radio, or in print, according to a 2007 Harris Interactive Study. SMI has also found that nearly one-third of patients discuss in-office brochures and advertisements at the point of care with their physicians.

“It is no secret that patients trust medical information they find in their physician's office more than anywhere else,” says Steve Delozier, president of SMI. “SMI's success with CROs and study coordinators has sparked us to expand our innovative media tactics into the clinical trials arena. We have found that placing information about clinical trials in healthcare facilities reduces per-patient recruitment costs and accelerates the patient recruitment and enrollment process. We are excited to officially launch this arm.”

“Traditional methods of recruiting patients are simply not enough anymore, as individuals are bombarded with thousands of messages daily,” says a senior project manager at the nation's the largest CRO. “Point-of-Care Marketing tactics such as health panels stimulate conversations between patients and their physicians about the content and advertisement. These conversations can contribute to patients enrolling in clinical trials.”

Mr. Crescenzi will spearhead SMI Clinical Trials. He has extensive healthcare experience and previously held a practice management position with HIS Clinical Research Company, a subsidiary of HealthCare Integrated Services, Inc. (HISS). Mr. Crescenzi was responsible for securing clinical trials from pharmaceutical companies and matching them to sub-specialists or family practice physicians relating to the study, as well as evaluating and credentialing Principal Investigators (PI). He helped conduct several clinical trials in the fields of Family Practice, Pulmonary medicine, Rheumatology, Neurology, Urology, and Otolaryngology.

For more information about SMI Clinical Trials, or to volunteer for or conduct a clinical study, please visit smihealthmedia.com/clinical-trials-patientrecruitment.aspx

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