International Clinical Trials Day – From Past to Present

Dawn Burke
May 19th, 2015

On May 20, the world celebrates International Clinical Trials Day – a day devoted to raising awareness of the importance of clinical trials. The challenges of clinical research are not limited by country or demographic. Whether increasing patient participation or improving operational inefficiencies, the ultimate goal is to receive life-saving and life-altering drugs to market faster and safer. International Clinical Trials Day is just one way to bring more attention to clinical trials.

Over the last several weeks, Forte collected responses from a survey asking people their thoughts on the clinical research industry today. In total, 630 individuals completed the survey. Today, on International Clinical Trials Day, we share those responses with you:

Forte would like to thank and recognize all those who have participated in a clinical trial – either as a patient or on the team administering the trial. Your contributions are greatly appreciated!

International Clinical Trials Day Infographic

Text Version

International Clinical Trials Day: May 20 – From Past to Present

On May 20, 1747, Scottish physician James Lind conducted the first clinical study of the treatment of scurvy on 12 sailors. Lind discovered out of six therapies, oranges and lemons had the greatest positive effect on the sailors’ health.

Where is the Clinical Trial Industry Today?

Based on a 2015 survey by Forte with 630 respondents from around the world. As a whole, 50% of the respondents said they were happy with the current state of the clinical trials industry, and 50% were not. 46% of respondents work with patients regularly as part of their care team, and 54% did not.

This context breaks the numbers down to:

  • 155 people who work with patients and are happy with the industry
  • 136 people who work with patients and are not happy with the industry
  • 158 people who don’t work with patients and are happy with the industry
  • 181 people who don’t work with patients and are not happy with the industry

What are you Optimistic About in Clinical Research?

Key takeaways from survey responses:

  • New treatments and cures are improving healthcare and making a difference in the lives of patients
  • The public is better informed about clinical research
  • More trials and more quality research are conducted
  • Clinical research is well regulated, with a patient-centric approach to safety
  • Research is becoming more integrated into clinical practice

Some respondents noted:

  • “We’re really making a difference for the patients we see, and have excellent care and availability through the whole study.”
  • “The public is more comfortable and informed about the clinical trials available to them.”
  • “Exploration for patient-centric modalities, collaboration among institutions, investigators and sponsors is increasing.”

What Needs to Happen to Improve Clinical Research?

Key takeaways from survey responses:

  • Too much repetitive paperwork. Develop more standards and streamlined processes.
  • Studies are too complex, making recruitment and enrollment difficult. More diversity is needed among study subjects.
  • More collaboration and better communication is needed between sites, sponsors and CROs.
  • More funding and better compensation for site expenses is needed.
  • More experienced and better-trained staff are needed.

Some respondents noted:

  • “The process from feasibility survey to sending the last box off for long term storage needs to be leaner and more subject-centric.”
  • “Results must come quicker, and barriers for accrual must be eliminated. Public and physician awareness must increase.”
  • “There is too much focus on paperwork, and less on conducting the trial according to GCP guidelines and ethical principles.”

There have certainly been many advances in clinical research since the days of James Lind. While countless new life-saving drugs and devices have been discovered, the process of getting them to market has not come without its challenges. Though there’s still a long way to go, the future of clinical research looks bright.

Find more insights on clinical research industry perspectives and see how your research operations and challenges compare to over 900 of your peers. Download your copy of Forte’s 2017 State of the Clinical Research Industry Report

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