The Path to Developing New Medicines
Every day, new medications are being developed for a wide range of illnesses, from symptoms related to heart disease and arthritis, to potential cures for Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. The only way to evaluate potential therapies as safe and effective for humans is through clinical trials, which are completed with the help of healthy volunteers or patients.
However, according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, 11 percent of trial sites fail to enroll even a single patient, and two-thirds of research organizations fail to meet patient enrollment requirements. Organizations that don’t meet their enrollment targets typically have to double their original development timeline.
Volunteers Make A Difference
Why is it so hard to enroll patients into clinical trials? One of the barriers seems to be a lack of understanding – in one survey, 40 percent of adults reported that they didn’t understand the idea of a clinical trial, and 45 percent were concerned that they would be “treated like guinea pigs.”
However, volunteers who have participated in a study say they’d do it again—95 percent of clinical trial participants in a recent survey said they would consider joining a future trial. Clinical trial participants benefit from rigorous oversight by an expert medical team and have access to advanced investigational medicines that are not yet available to patients outside a trial. They also enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that they have played a key role in advancing the discovery of new treatments.
We recently asked volunteers who have joined our early phase clinical trials about their experiences. One patient commented, “I get an awesome feeling knowing I am helping others!” Another patient said, “To be a part of something that’s going to benefit others is always a blessing.”
Help Spread the Word About Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials Awareness Week (May 2-6, 2016) is an ideal time to spread the word about the benefits of clinical trial participation. All week long, organizations around the world will be celebrating the unsung heroes who are making new, innovative medical treatments a reality: clinical trial researchers and patient volunteers. You can hop on Twitter for an official Clinical Trials Awareness Week Twitter Chat on Thursday, May 5, 2016, 12-1 p.m. ET, using the hashtag #CTAW2016.
If you’d like to learn more about being a healthy volunteer for an early phase clinical trial, visit our website at www.HealthyStudies.com.