Today’s clinical trial subject recruitment in Japan

Clinical trials are fundamental for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of new medicines in real people. The entire clinical trial process involves recruiting volunteers through a careful selection process, obtaining informed consent from volunteers, testing the investigational new drugs in a controlled and carefully monitored environment, gathering and interpreting the data, and finally receiving approval to release a new drug from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Recruiting patients to participate in clinical trials is one of the key links in the chain of delivering new medicines to the public, and hospitals. In Japan, as with other places around the world, there are certain barriers to timely patient recruitment which can make a clinical trial run behind schedule, costing time and money. Buzzreach provides unique solutions to overcome the challenges of patient recruitment by matching the right clinical trials with the right patients. Using the internet, our services bring clinical trial information to the public and improve the search ability of clinical trials by targeting communities of patients.

  1. 1.Issues and current status of the clinical trial market from patients’ perspective
  2. 2.Patient-related clinical trial market
  3. 3.Current status of the clinical trial patient recruitment market
  4. 4.Clinical trial sites’ patient recruitment
  5. 5.Bringing clinical trials closer
  6. 6.Contact us
Issues and current status of the clinical trial market from patients’ perspective

Right now, we can see many issues in the clinical trial market. The general public’s understanding of clinical trials is still fairly rudimentary, and there is a negative image surrounding medical research.

Although there are huge numbers of clinical trials taking place in medical institutions across Japan, the information which is shared with the public is still very limited. Right now, there is no easy-access, standard place for patients, their families, and people concerned about health to search for information about clinical trials.

Right now, more than 60% of Japanese clinical trials do not hit their target deadlines. Running overtime, increases the cost for pharmaceutical companies and delays new drug approval. Buzzreach addresses these problems by providing streamlined, easy-to-access information about participating in clinical trials to the public.

Patient-related clinical trial market

Many clinical trial sites and patients are involved in clinical trials in Japan. Here are the annual statistics for Japan:

  • Regardless of whether an SMO is involved or not, about 20,000 to 30,000 sites conduct clinical trials.
  • Pharmaceutical companies contract around 100,000 enrollments.
  • Clinical trial participants sign 240,000 informed consent forms.
  • o Approximately 70,000 patients actually participate in clinical trials.

While clearly many clinical trial sites and patients are involved in clinical trials, we at Buzzreach believe there is room for improvement! We aim to foster smoother information disclosure, information sharing and information retrieval.

Current market status of the clinical trial patient recruitment

There are eight main patient recruitment organizations (PRO) involved in clinical trial patient recruitment in Japan, and their net worth is worth about 40 million USD and together they recruit around 6,000 patients a year.
PROs operate on a project-by-project basis by recruiting patients for participation in specific clinical trials using their own volunteer databases. PROs only support projects which they are participating in, so the information on their websites is limited to specific diseases related to each project.
On the other hand, the Buzzreach platform is designed to share information about the majority of studies taking place in Japan – even those not posted on PRO websites. We strive to get as much user-friendly clinical trial information to the public as possible.

Clinical trial sites’ patient recruitment

Although clinical trials are absolutely necessary for making sure a drug is safe and effective before it hits the market, they still have a negative image in Japan. Buzzreach aims to raise the profile of clinical trials by increasing awareness of the opportunities that they can offer patients. We provide a hub of up-to-date, relevant, and easy to understand information and education to make clinical trials more accessible to the public.
The Buzzreach platform offers information on many different diseases, and creates and fosters communities of people who are interested in accessing clinical trial information. The matching platforms called SearchMyTrial (SMT) and Puzz allow patients and sites to connect with each other.

Buzzreach’s platform meets a lot of different stakeholder needs:

  • Patient and their families can search for accurate and up-to-date disease and symptom information, as well as relevant clinical trial information.
  • Clinical trial sites (or SMOs) can post information about clinical trials conducted at their sites and reach specific patient communities.
  • Patient and sites can be matched with each other on the clinical trial matching platform.
  • Sponsors can access patient recruitment strategies on single platform.

If all 20,000 – 30,000 Japanese clinical trial medical institutions use the Buzzreach platform, we are sure to see a great improvement in the quality, speed, and cost effectiveness of clinical trials in Japan, as well as huge improvements in Japan’s public image of clinical trials.

Bringing clinical trials closer

These days, people book flights and hotels using booking engines like Expedia. These provide the best, most relevant flight and hotel information to suits the person’s specific travel needs, such as location, schedule and budget.

Using a similar model, Buzzreach provides relevant clinical trial information based on a patient’s needs such as diagnosis, symptoms and geographical location. Information is automatically collected from JAPIC, JMACCT, Clinical Trial Registration System,, and UMIN as well as posts from clinical trial sites. Just like the popular travel search engines, Buzzreach works as a matching platform to link patients who are interested in participating in clinical trials with the most relevant sites conducting clinical trials in their region.

Contact us

Please inquire using the form below. We will respond as soon as possible between 9:30 and 18:30 (Monday – Friday Japan Tokyo time).

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