Breakthrough Patient Recruitment

: First Ever Clinical Trials Awareness Week Sheds Light on Importance of Clinical Trial Participation

First Ever Clinical Trials Awareness Week Sheds Light on Importance of Clinical Trial Participation

Managing Editor

That pill you took to ease your headache this morning, the asthma inhaler you made sure your child had with him before he went off to school, and the blood pressure medication you picked up for your mother at the drug store all have one very important thing in common. None would be available, or even possible, if it wasn't for clinical trials.

Every medication available to the public today has been carefully tested through several phases of clinical research, and each of those trials has one very important thing in common. Volunteers. All medications and medical devices must be tested on people before they become publically available. Clinical trials rely on people who are willing to volunteer their time (and their bodies) to participate in clinical trials. This piece of the research puzzle is so important that there is an entire organization dedicated to raising awareness of clinical trials. The Coalition for Clinical Trials Awareness (CCTA) touts the following as its mission: "To advocate for the creation of a federally sponsored public awareness campaign to increase the public's understanding of the benefits of clinical trials."

Taking an important step toward living this mission, CCTA is co-sponsoring the first ever Clinical Trials Awareness Week this week from May 4 to May 8. During this week, the goal is to have "national and local patient advocacy organizations, medical societies, research institutions, and others…join together to raise public awareness about the benefits of clinical trials awareness."

Surveys show that most Americans know quite little about clinical trials, but many people say that they would consider participating in a clinical trial if they understood what a trial is and how it works.

CCTA_infographic

Several industry organizations are taking part in this awareness event. George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is hosting AWARE for All, sponsored by the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP). AWARE for All is a free educational program where the public can learn about clinical research, undergo free screenings, and hear presentations from local doctors and patients who have participated in clinical research.

Meanwhile, there will also be tweet chats and other promotion on social media. PhRMA is hosting a Twitter Chat on Thursday May 7 at 2 pm EDT with other patient groups to discuss the importance of clinical trials. You can participate by using #CTAW.

The inaugural Clinical Trials Awareness Week is just the beginning. This fall, CCTA will sponsor the first annual National Conference on Clinical Trials Awareness in Washington, D.C. The conference will help garner attention from policymakers, media, and stakeholders about the "need to elevate the public awareness of the societal benefits of clinical trials research."

Help us spread the word about clinical trials and the importance of volunteering!

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