August 21st, 2019

How to Recruit Patients for Psoriasis Clinical Trials


August is Psoriasis Awareness Month. Here’s how sponsors and CROs can use this as an opportunity to recruit patients for relevant clinical trials.

More than eight million Americans have psoriasis, a chronic condition that causes painful, red, and itchy skin. This condition is not just a cosmetic concern, as 60% of people with psoriasis report that the disease impacts their everyday lives. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also lead to comorbid conditions such as psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Living with psoriasis can take its toll, which is why researchers are working toward more effective, longer-lasting treatments. But recruiting patients for clinical trials is a continuous challenge, no matter the condition. Fortunately, there are several simple steps sponsors and CROs can take to boost enrollment for psoriasis trials.

In honor of Psoriasis Awareness Month, we’re examining some of the most effective strategies for recruiting psoriasis patients to participate in clinical trials. The National Psoriasis Foundation is leading the way with a campaign that is aiming to empower patients to take control of their health. The campaign features educational articles, social media content, and interactive challenges that encourage participation and spread awareness about the condition.

The Role of Digital Marketing in Clinical Trial Recruitment

Nearly three-quarters of consumers use search engines to research treatment, and it’s critical for clinical trials to meet patients where they are. This is especially true for patients with chronic conditions like psoriasis, as they are more likely to be actively seeking out innovative treatment options.

This is where digital marketing comes into play. By investing in search and social media ads, sponsors and CROs can reach psoriasis patients who are at the bottom of the recruitment funnel. This means they’ve already done their research, and are nearing the end of their decision-making process. These patients are especially valuable because they’re more likely to convert than those in earlier stages of the process.

Search ads allow sponsors and CROs to leverage keyword research to get a more accurate idea of what patients are actually looking for – perhaps “how to relieve itchy skin from psoriasis” or “psoriasis pain relief.” These ads appear at the top of patients’ search results when they make relevant queries.

Similarly, social media platforms like Facebook allow marketers to target specific patient subpopulations based on criteria like age, location, and interests. Because Facebook is also home to many support groups for chronic conditions, it’s an especially important platform for recruiting psoriasis patients. Sponsors and CROs can serve ads to users who are in relevant groups and encourage them to consider enrolling in a clinical trial.

Building a Marketing Campaign for Psoriasis Patients

While the strategies outlined above are an effective way to connect with psoriasis patients, it takes the right content and user experience to drive conversions. For instance, the narratives featured in digital ads and on website copy should speak specifically to patients’ goals and pain points. What are their major concerns when it comes to managing psoriasis? What are they hoping to gain from treatment? When sponsors and CROs have a clear sense of patients’ needs, they can address them with well-crafted, meaningful content.

Once a patient’s interest has been captured by a strategically-placed ad with compelling copy, it’s important to optimize the rest of their journey. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through a relevant landing page that speaks specifically to psoriasis patients. This landing page should be easy-to-navigate and align with the content that originally piqued the visitor’s interest. It might feature a user-friendly rundown of a psoriasis treatment plan or answers to frequently asked questions about psoriasis.

These digital marketing strategies are likely to boost conversions for campaigns tailored to psoriasis patients, but they can also be applied to clinical trial recruitment campaigns for any condition. By targeting the right patients – namely, those who are already looking for treatment – and creating content that addresses their needs, sponsors and CROs can build digital recruitment campaigns that actually deliver.