Film Release Coincides with 2017 Clinical Trials Awareness Week
Washington, D.C., May 3, 2017 – In honor of Clinical Trials Awareness Week, the Alliance for Aging Research (Alliance) has released a new animated “pocket film,” Pay it Forward: Volunteering for a Clinical Trial, to encourage clinical trial volunteerism. The five-minute film explains what clinical trials are, the science and methodology behind them, the benefits of participation, and how to learn about trial availability.
A vital part of medical research, clinical trials are research studies involving people that evaluate the effects of an experimental test or treatment. Clinical trials cannot happen without the participation of volunteers. However, clinical trials overall are significantly under-enrolled—with 37 percent of trial sites failing to meet their enrollment goals, and 11 percent never even enrolling a single patient.
Under-enrollment is an especially significant problem among older adults, who are also those most disproportionately impacted by chronic disease. For example, even though more than half of all cancers are diagnosed in people ages 65 and older, only 25 percent of cancer-focused clinical trial enrollees are from that age group. Keep reading this news release.
It’s an exciting time in biomedical research.
The news is filled with stories of breakthrough discoveries that have the potential to change and save lives. But getting these discoveries from the research lab to the bedside is a long and complex process, and it depends on clinical trials.
CLINICAL TRIALS DEPEND ON VOLUNTEERS
These trials can’t happen without the participation of volunteers. At any given time, there can be thousands of clinical trials going on across the country, but overall, clinical trials are significantly under-enrolled — 37% of trial sites don’t enroll enough patients to move forward, and 11% fail to enroll even one patient. This means that these innovative discoveries may never make it to the patients that need them.
Under-enrollment is an especially significant problem among older adults, who are also those most disproportionately impacted by chronic disease. This is due to many factors, including a high likelihood of comorbidity exclusion, perceived financial issues, transportation barriers, and a fear of science and the system. A lack of awareness about what clinical trials are and how they work, also plays a role.
Watch this video: Pay It Forward: Volunteering for a Clinical Trial
To promote awareness of the need and importance of patient enrollment in clinical trials, the Alliance for Aging Research partnered with The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) to release a short, animated “pocket film” that discusses what clinical trials are, how they work, the need for a diverse group of clinical trials volunteers, and how they can provide better treatments, breakthrough cures, and new hope to patients and generations to come.
Learn more at www.agingresearch.org/clinicaltrials.