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Lisa Henderson writes on patient participation and recruitment in clinical trials.
In the search for increased patient participation in clinical trials, there is not one holy grail. And the struggle to improve the situation is as old as the practice of clinical trials itself. In the evolution from subjects to patients, from advertising to social media, from doctor to healthcare system, the clinical trial remains outside the mainstream of care options.
CISCRP, founded by industry expert Ken Getz, has fostered the movement for patient education and increased trial participation for some years. Findings generated from CISCRP’s research target various barriers to clinical trial participation, and CISCRP offers solutions to address them, including offering lay summaries of trial results for participants, and clinical trial awareness days at local hospitals.
One of the documented barriers to increasing patient recruitment involves physicians. Though patients trust their physician and would be open to a clinical trial if their physician recommended it, few physicians or healthcare professionals do. At last month’s SCOPE Summit in Orlando, Joe Kim, senior advisor, clinical innovation, at Eli Lilly, and campaign lead for TransCelerate’s Clinical Research Awareness initiative, said the top reasons physicians don’t refer patients to trials are lack of time, lack of understanding on how to match patients to relevant trials, lack of financial incentive, and lack of trust in the research enterprise.
Said Kim, “It can take way too long to execute research, in large part because not enough people are participating in clinical trials or aware of them. Physicians, nurses, and other HCPs are important intermediaries here who can help us overcome this critical challenge by incorporating the topic of research into their daily practice.” The purpose of TransCelerate’s grassroots One Person Closer (#OnePersonCloser) campaign is to inspire more HCPs to believe in research and motivate them to have conversations about clinical trials with their patients.
After meeting photographer and co-founder of online patient community Smart Patients, Gilles Frydman, Kim discovered that they shared a vision: telling the authentic stories of the real people involved in clinical trials-researchers, physicians, and patients-and conveying the essential role each person plays in the development of new medical treatments and breakthroughs. This vision is the inspiration behind the One Person Closer social media campaign, which can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The One Person Closer campaign includes video vignettes of 12 researchers, patient advocates, and thought leaders sharing their stories. Participants work, or have worked, for industry-leading research organizations, hospitals, and charities involved in the research process.
As Dalvir Gill, CEO of TransCelerate, told me, “There are many things that are being done. But if we help one person get into a trial, and enough people try to do this, we can move the needle.”
Kim described it this way: People of a certain age will remember when we didn’t recycle; but now, we feel guilty when we don’t. Awareness and consistent messaging is the key to influencing change. One person to tell another person, and so on. Small gains toward a larger goal. Join the movement and share #OnePersonCloser!