Recruiting participants is perhaps the most challenging aspect of any clinical trial, regardless of the therapeutic area. Yet this one piece is also the most vital, with a trial’s ability to enroll and retain participants being a key predictor of a study’s future success.
Yet, 41 percent of people in the US have no knowledge of the clinical research process, and 91 percent say they’ve never been given the opportunity to participate in a trial, according to SCORR Marketing. It’s no wonder that few Americans have participated in clinical research considering the lack of awareness and understanding of the process.
The availability of new medicines is reliant upon individuals’ willingness to contribute to clinical trials. Clearly, the drug development and greater life sciences industry must do a better job communicating this imperative to the public.
What is Clinical Trials For All?
Launched today, August 22, 2023, ClinicalTrialsForAll.org is a campaign aimed at engaging the health sciences industry and patients to raise awareness of the benefits of trial participation.
While the initiative is being spearheaded by SCORR Marketing, an agency with a 20-year history focused on the health sciences, the campaign is deliberately noncommercial to encourage diverse stakeholders in the industry to come together to solve this common challenge.
“We have witnessed firsthand how devastating the effects of low patient enrollment can be, and we’ve decided enough is enough,” says Cinda Orr, a 45-year veteran of the life sciences industry and founder of SCORR. “The general public’s knowledge of clinical trials is dreadfully low, but together we can educate and raise awareness, and by doing so we can increase participation and bring research as care to more patients.”
In addition to having the goal of promoting clinical research participation, the initiative also focuses on another pressing issue that has been top of mind in recent years: diversity in trials. While Black, Hispanic and Latinx groups have historically been referred to as “minorities,” they now comprise upward of 31 percent of the US population; however, they make up less than 12 percent of clinical trial participants, according to SCORR.
If an investigational treatment is to truly benefit the broadest patient population, it must first be assessed for safety and efficacy in a diverse group of trial participants. And with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requiring sponsors to submit a Diversity Action Plan early in the clinical development process, ensuring that patient recruitment goes beyond white males is now a regulatory imperative along with an ethical one.
In supporting engagement with these previously underserved populations, Clinical Trials for All aims to improve overall trial participation and diversity as well as promote clinical research as a care option (CRAACO) for better health outcomes.
XTALKS WEBINAR: Serving Underserved Populations: Going Beyond Recruitment
Live and On-Demand: Wednesday, September 13, 2023 | 11am EDT (NA) / 4pm BST (UK) / 5pm CEST (EU-Central)
Register for this free webinar to hear about the critical issue of ensuring the inclusion of diverse and underserved populations in clinical research, and learn about strategies for engaging diverse patient populations, going beyond mere recruitment efforts.
What is Clinical Research as a Care Option (CRAACO)?
Clinical Research as a Care Option (CRAACO) is an innovative approach to healthcare that bridges the gap between clinical research and routine patient care. Traditionally, clinical research and patient care have operated in separate silos, with distinct processes, priorities and personnel.
However, CRAACO seeks to integrate these separate domains, allowing patients to receive cutting-edge treatments under the umbrella of a clinical trial while still being in a care setting. This approach also improves patient access to the latest investigational treatments and therapies that might not yet be widely available.
CRAACO provides patients, especially those with rare or advanced diseases, with the opportunity to receive potentially life-saving treatments when standard options have been exhausted or are ineffective. It also allows for real-world data collection, giving researchers a more comprehensive understanding of a drug or treatment’s efficacy, side effects and other relevant metrics in diverse populations.
Furthermore, integrating research into the care continuum can expedite the adoption of effective therapies into routine clinical practice. For healthcare professionals, CRAACO offers the chance to remain at the forefront of medical advancements, providing their patients with the best possible care options. In essence, CRAACO represents a convergence of research and care that benefits both patients and the broader medical community.
What are the Goals of the Clinical Trials for All Campaign?
At its core, Clinical Trials For All aims to improve awareness of the importance of clinical trials and prompt more members of the public to consider participating in clinical research. The hope is that this broader awareness will have a positive influence on trial enrollment, particularly among those with diverse ethnic backgrounds.
Another effect of improving trial participation is the opportunity to bring CRAACO to more patients. With the US healthcare system struggling to meet the needs of all citizens, CRAACO is a valuable tool in elevating patient care.
What Resources Are Available at ClinicalTrialsforAll.org?
In order to best serve patients and professionals involved in trials, ClinicalTrialsforAll.org will be a curated and regularly updated repository of information. The site will link to numerous resources to support trial awareness among prospective participants, including trial search tools and patient participant information.
It will also make use of its advocacy group connections to help link patients to sources of support, and will share patient stories highlighting the benefits and importance of contributing to clinical research.
How Can Industry Leaders Partner with This Campaign?
Xtalks is proud to be an industry partner in the Clinical Trials For All campaign. We join other industry leaders, including Cerba Research, Elligo Health Research, IDDI and Scout Clinical, as well as respected patient advocacy groups like TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance and the American Kidney Fund in showing our support for robust clinical research that is inclusive and representative of all patients.
Click here to learn how your organization can join the cause.