• COUCH Health

COUCH Health recruits Rosemary Lakeru as Director of Patient Recruitment, Feasibility and Diversity


Date: Tuesday 3 November 2020

For immediate release


Better patient diversity is critical for clinical trials, in order to develop the right drugs for the right patients, and to support successful drug approvals and effective marketing and communication campaigns. With the appointment of Rosemary Lakeru as Director of Patient Recruitment, Feasibility and Diversity, COUCH Health becomes one of the first patient engagement companies to create a senior role with a specific focus on improving diversity in clinical trials.

An experienced recruitment and retention specialist, Lakeru understands the importance of enrolling patients from a broader pool to better reflect the heterogeneity of the general population. "We can only create treatments that meet the needs of ordinary patients if we test them on a representative cohort of people in the first place," said Lakeru.

Lakeru brings a patient-centred approach with strategic solutions that support the vital goals of better patient support and greater diversity.

"I believe that connecting and communicating with patients, and empowering them before, during, and after their participation in a trial, can improve retention and help companies to reach their enrolment goals. I also want to improve the clinical trial process and experience for patients by making it simple, transparent, and accessible," said Lakeru.

Despite increasing pressure from regulators, clinical trials are often carried out on a largely white and male population. As an example, of 46,391 study volunteers who contributed to clinical studies of new drugs in 2019, only 9% of people involved were black/African American, 9% were Asian, and 18% were Hispanic. Women, particularly older women, are under-represented in cancer clinical trials. This results in drugs that are not fully tested in the people who will take them.

Ash Rishi, CEO of COUCH Health said: "We are excited to welcome Rosemary Lakeru. Clinical trials must become more inclusive – it’s the only way to develop effective treatments. Drug licensing and regulatory bodies are increasingly asking for evidence of drug safety and efficacy in diverse populations; the industry can no longer avoid the issue. It’s important that everyone involved with clinical research takes responsibility for tackling this issue and that we do so decisively and that is why we have taken this important step and ensuring that whenever we do any patient recruitment we ensure diversity is at the heart of what we do."

For more information, please contact Ash Rishi at COUCH Health on + 44 (0) 330 995 0656 or hello@couchhealth.co.

About COUCH Health

COUCH Health is a patient engagement agency dedicated to improving clinical trial experiences for patients. It works with pharmaceutical, biotech and life science companies to improve patient insights, recruitment and retention for clinical trials. In May 2020, COUCH Health launched its Demand Diversity campaign for clinical trials to become more diverse and inclusive.

For more information, visit www.couchhealth.co.

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