How can clinical trials attract more participants?

To move science forward, we need clinical trials; however, without enough people participating, the trials cannot be successful.

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Just three per cent of adult cancer patients participate in clinical trials – are they avoiding them, or are they unaware they can take part? More people are required to make trials successful, so how can they attract more participants? In the US, it is common practice for research companies to pay people to take part in trials, but it is doubtful we would have the funds to do this in the UK.

Focus groups

In the US, a clinical study engagement innovator is leading a project in which she hopes to enrol 50 companies, with a potential one million employees, to create a corporate social responsibility programme. She will then lead focus groups with the hope of getting feedback and gaining insight into people’s thoughts on clinical trials.

The outcome has highlighted the need to make clinical trial participation a normal healthcare option and to a lack of health literacy. She has uncovered three major problems that need addressing to encourage volunteers onto trials: health literacy, realising that their need for participation is paramount to make changes, and a patient-informed drug development process.

Our daily lives are becoming dominated by technology; however, the human touch is needed to win over the hearts and minds of patients. She is hoping to empower the focus groups to get the word out to the masses and educate them on the importance and need of patient participation for the success of clinical trials.

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Other feedback from the focus groups was that ethnic minority groups were not getting involved in clinical trials and TQT studies, such as those provided by http://www.richmondpharmacology.com/specialist-services/tqt.php, in the same way that race and ethnicity influence their chances of receiving certain healthcare treatments and procedures. She aims to tackle this by subsidising free prescriptions for large companies with funds from large organisations to encouraging participation from ethnic minority individuals.

Care option

It is necessary to transform clinical trials into a care option. Patients almost never learn about clinical trials from their physician – get them involved and everyone is happy. Health systems and patients will get access to the latest research, while the pharmaceutical companies get access to more patients for their clinical trials.

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