Executive Director’s Message: Clinical Trial Stakeholder Education: It’s Going to Take All of Us

Clinical Researcher—February 2018 (Volume 32, Issue 2)

Jim Kremidas

[DOI: 10.14524/CR-18-4013]

Your organization is committed to helping educate patients and others about the value of clinical trials. I’d like to share with you two exciting initiatives in which the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) is playing a role.

The first comes from the National Institutes of Health, and is known as the All of Us research program. This major piece of the Precision Medicine Initiative will engage 1 million or more volunteers living in the U.S. to contribute their health data over many years to improve health outcomes, fuel the development of new treatments for disease, and catalyze a new era of evidence-based and more precise preventive care and medical treatment.

This is an exciting, potentially game-changing initiative we believe could improve clinical research for years to come. Gathering patient data from a wide swath of the population will help drug sponsors and clinical trial practitioners further refine trial goals and protocols. We couldn’t be more pleased to help spread the word in our shared effort to improve healthcare for everyone.

We’re also working to raise awareness of the Popup Star program created by Greater Gift, an organization that provides a free vaccine to a child every time someone volunteers for a clinical trial run by a program participant.

During the Popup Star competition, diverse teams will compete to design and implement a novel event to promote clinical trial education in their community that is inclusive of all stakeholders: patients, researchers, clinicians, advocacy organizations, academic institutions, and healthcare payers.

The Popup Star events will take place over a 10-day period in April of 2018, and three finalists will be invited to participate in a live broadcast finale in the summer of 2018 in New York City, where a winner will be announced.

Taking the Lead (Together)

Studies and polls consistently demonstrate the importance of physicians and other healthcare providers when it comes to alerting patients about opportunities to participate in clinical trials. At the same time, we continue to face enrollment challenges as the number of trials soars each year.

It’s vitally important for medical professionals and research professionals to find new ways to work together. We have a tremendous opportunity to complement each other’s work in our communities at the local level. We can attract more trial participants, even as we provide improved services with a patient-centric experience featuring better access to potentially cutting-edge treatments.

Clinical trials are a vital catalyst for healthcare innovation. It’s time for healthcare and clinical research professionals to redouble efforts to educate potential patients on the benefits of trials as another valuable tool in healthcare’s broader regimen.

Share and Share Alike

At the ACRP, we’re looking forward to sharing new ideas and perspectives with one another for everyone’s gain. Together, let’s grow the clinical trial patient population and data library. Now more than ever, it’s incumbent on us to deliver the highest possible level of quality to all patients.

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback. Please reach out to me at jkremidas@acrpnet.org.

Jim Kremidas (jkremidas@acrpnet.org) is Executive Director of ACRP.