Clinical Trials Awareness Week Focuses on Policy, Participation

What can the federal government do to raise clinical trials awareness?  Maybe a lot, suggests one organization.

May 1-5 marks Clinical Trials Awareness Week, when patients, health care providers, researchers and industry celebrate innovation and explore how to overcome a key challenge for clinical research: low enrollment. Data shows that 37 percent of trial cites do not meet their enrollment goals and 11 percent fail to enroll even one patient.  Low participation can delay drug development and increase medication costs, hindering patient access to life-saving treatments.

This year, the Coalition for Clinical Trials Awareness sees an opportunity for Congress to address the public health challenge. As described in a letter to leadership of the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the coalition urges federal lawmakers to:

  1. Form an interagency task force on clinical trials awareness
  2. Create a roadmap based on the task force’s findings
  3. Implement an information campaign based upon the roadmap.  

The roadmap, the letter explains, would outline how public-private partnerships can advance clinical trials awareness.  It would also address better equipping health care professionals to inform patients about clinical trials and explore how digital technology can heighten awareness and participation.

The campaign that follows would “advance the message of clinical trials enrollment through television advertisements, social media, and outreach events for the patient and health care professional communities.”  The Coalition for Clinical Trials Awareness has envisioned such a campaign with mock magazine and social media ads, as well as video.


The coalition urges Congress to incorporate the three-step effort into its ongoing Prescription Drug User Fee Act reauthorization process.

Clinical Trials Awareness Week Events

Several events offer opportunities for Clinical Trials Awareness Week participation:

  • Twitter chat. The coalition partners with Empowered Patient Chats for a Twitter chat on Tuesday, May 2 at 1 p.m. EDT to explore the question “Can Digital Media Save Clinical Trials?

Participants can join using #CTAW2017.  See the Empowered Patient Chat blog for more details.

  • Policy roundtable. The coalition hosts a policy roundtable to explore the idea of federal awareness efforts on May 3, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. Registration is available online.
  • Letter-writing campaign. The coalition urges people to write their member of Congress and ask them to address clinical trials awareness as part of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act reauthorization.

For more details, visit


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