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T-30: Trends in Response Rate for Recurrent REMS Surveys

Poster Presenter

      Deborah Covington

      • Senior Research Scientist
      • PPD, part of Thermo Fisher Scientific
        United States


This retrospective analysis of REMS survey recruitment and completion metrics, collected by a major CRO over the past 5 years, sought to examine trends in response rate for REMS surveys conducted recurrently (according to a schedule agreed upon with the FDA) among HCPs and pharmacists.


REMS surveys conducted among HCPs and pharmacists with at least 2 administrations were identified, and response rates were compared between administrations. Factors potentially affecting response rate were also explored.


From 2011 to 2016, response rate data were available for 4 recurrent REMS surveys: 2 HCP surveys (H1, H2) and 2 pharmacist surveys (P1, P2). All surveys were conducted annually, and a total of 782 HCPs and 1,526 pharmacists were surveyed. For all 4 surveys, response rate tended to decrease with repeated administration: 9.5% to 1.6% from 1st to 3rd administration of H1; 38.0% to 4.1% from 1st to 4th administration of H2; 35.1% to 16.3% from 1st to the 3rd administration of P1; 2.9% to 1.1% from 1st to 2nd administration of P2. The observed difference in response rate between first and last administration ranged from -1.8% to -33.9%. Overall, the average difference in response rate per subsequent administration was -7.8%, which was similar for HCPs and pharmacists. Modes of invitation delivery (e.g., email, phone, fax) changed between administrations for 2 surveys: email was added to fax as a delivery mode for the 4th administration of H2 (corresponding change in response rate: 15.7% to 4.1%); phone replaced email and fax as the delivery mode for the 2nd administration of P1 (corresponding change in response rate: 35.1% to 30.3%). Available methods for survey completion (e.g., online, phone, fax) changed between administrations for only one survey: fax was removed as a method for completion for the 3rd administration of H1 (corresponding change in response rate: 3.5% to 1.6%). Sources of stakeholder contact information and honorarium amount did not change between administrations for any of the surveys.


In our study, response rate tended to decrease with repeated administration of REMS surveys. This trend was observed for both HCP and pharmacist surveys. We explored several factors potentially affecting response rate, including mode of invitation delivery, method for survey completion, source of stakeholder contact information, and honorarium amount. Of the 4 recurrent REMS surveys, 3 experienced a change in one of these factors between administrations: adding a mode of invitation delivery substantially decreased response rate; replacing 2 modes of invitation delivery with a different mode moderately decreased response rate; and removing a method for survey completion slightly decreased response rate. Surprisingly, all 3 of these surveys experienced larger incremental decreases in response rate when no factors were changed between administrations. Given this information, it is possible that these factors have a limited effect on response rate. Further information is needed to explore this trend of decreasing response rate with repeated administration of REMS surveys, specifically data from recurrent surveys without changes to recruitment and completion methods between administrations.

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