We are well positioned to recruit clinical trials involving people with diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes in North Carolina exceeds the average for the United States as a whole. Of the approximately 1.3 million people who reside in our regional referral area, 7% (91,000 people) have diabetes.
Our current clinical patient population of approximately 4400 individuals includes adult Type I and Type II diabetics, gestational diabetics, children, and adolescents. The physicians evaluate 12-16 new patients with diabetes per week.
In addition to the Brody School of Medicine database of patients, the Diabetes Clinical Research Center maintains an active and growing database of over 1,000 patients with diabetes in our local area interested in participating in diabetes research.
Our center pursues patient recruitment, aggressively employing multiple methods as appropriate. These methods include newspaper advertisements, public service announcements, letters to patients on our mailing list, letters to referral area and University physicians, e-mail to all University and hospital faculty and staff, a quarterly patient newsletter, presentations to interested professional and patient groups, weekly radio segments and distribution of brochures and flyers to pharmacies, area businesses and physician's offices.
A network of referring physicians has also been developed. We actively track the referrals produced from each method of recruitment employed and continually refine our efforts and streamline our costs. To increase the efficiency of the recruitment process, we have utilized our patient database. The database allows us to select potential study participants by type and duration of diabetes, presence or absence of specific complications, past medical history, and current medications regime.
In greater than 95% of the trials in which we have participated, we have met or exceeded our original recruitment goal within the allotted time. Patient drop out rate, for causes other than adverse events, is less than 2%.