Research

Recruiting to time and target - BRAG ratings

A national system of high level performance indicators has been developed to track which studies are broadly recruiting according to plan, and those which are falling behind with their recruitment and are at risk of not completing to time and target.

The UK has traditionally had a poor record of recruiting to time and target compared to other countries, leading to a loss of confidence of the pharmaceutical industry, with the potential that this could lead to a progressive reduction in commercial studies. Academically-led studies which fail to meet their targets often result in requests for further funding in order to complete, or may fail to achieve a statistically significant result.This is not cost-effective and participation of patients in a study which is under powered is unethical.

What are BRAG Ratings?
BRAG ratings identify whether a study is reporting recruiting to target. Black denotes that no recruitment data has been uploaded onto the national database; red = 1%-64% of target; amber = 65%-79% of target; and green = >79%.

How are we doing?
The table shows the percentage of studies in each of the BRAG categories for GI and hepatology. Whilst there has been some success at reducing black-rated studies, the proportion of green rated studies remains low and needs to be addressed.

GI

Hepatology

black

5%

11%

red

53%

28%

amber

12%

6%

green

29%

56%


What needs to be done?
Chief Investigators of studies that are not recruiting to target should contact their Specialty Group Lead and/or CLRN Director to discuss causes and blocks, and identify possible action plans. Specialty Group Leads are monitoring recruitment to studies on their patch and are there to help to address problems with recruitment.