Low Patient Enrollment Cancels a Quarter of Rare Disease Trials

A report from Global Data was cited in a Fierce Biotech article that claims more than a quarter of rare disease trials are culled due to low patient rates. The data analytics and life science consultancy firm examined over 700 rare disease studies from 2016 to 2020 to arrive at the conclusion.

How to Better Support Low Patient Populations?

The solution to the recruitment issue? Virtual and decentralized clinical trials which have trended in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic. “…the shift from traditional models was well underway before the pandemic,” said Kitty Whitney, director of thematic analysis at Global Data.

She went on to say, “Virtual or decentralized trials represent a viable and more patient-centric solution to these issues…”

There are approximately 7,000 rare diseases affecting 400 million individuals globally (Global Genes) and 95% of these conditions do not have an FDA-approved treatment.

The story points out that several challenges affect insufficient trial recruitment and patient retention rates. Among them, geographic spread of small patient pools and physical difficulties that prevent many participants from convenient access to trial sites.

The H Clinical View

Decentralized clinical trials can help solve the recruitment problem. While much attention has been focused on digital advancements such as remote monitoring, wearables, smart phone apps, and telemedicine solutions, the importance of bringing research to the patient cannot be overstated. After all, technology innovations are only half the story. H Clinical has logistics infrastructure and thousands of GCP-trained home health nurses throughout Latin America to support hybrid or decentralized clinical trials, including rare disease trials for hard-to-find patients with low populations who need to find cures.


We provide in-home health services for clinical trials across Latin America.

H Clinical is the leader in decentralized trial support in Latin America. H Clinical empowers sponsors to reach more patients and patients to participate from the comfort of home. Through an extensive network of GCP trained home health providers, logistics infrastructure, and clinical trial coverage from the Rio Grande to Patagonia, H Clinical is bringing clinical research home.