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Public perception remains a significant barrier to clinical trial participation

There are a lot of misconceptions around clinical trials that are deterring people from participating. Scientists are now finding it difficult to reach the expected participant numbers in trials. This can be very detrimental to their findings as they are unable to gather enough information to come to a definite conclusion.

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Fear and Bad Press

A lot of people are scared of taking part in a clinical trial purely out of a fear of something terrible happening to them, as they believe the treatment could result in an even worse condition.

The media contributes to this, as we often see reports about how drug trials have gone wrong, such as the documentary about the leukaemia drug known as TGN1412. It is often the rare trials that have had damaging effects that receive the most public attention rather than the vast majority that work. This can be off-putting for a lot of people who could be scared of the effects of participating in a clinical study.

The situation needs to change

To see a rise in the number of willing clinical trial participants, we must focus on the positive and discuss the benefits that can come from taking part in one. We must show the public that these studies are being organised safely and that the risks are minimal in order to restore people’s faith back into these trials and gain more willing participants.

Adaptive Clinical Trial

An adaptive clinical trial evaluates a treatment by observing participant outcomes on a schedule that is constantly modified to ensure it is both time- and cost-efficient. Adaptive Phase 1 studies have been suggested by organisations such as Richmond Pharmacology to be a lot safer than other studies, as they are tailored to have particular adaptive controls and limits to help manage the potential risks that could come with the study. It also ensures that the participant is exposed to only what is absolutely essential in order to help keep them safer.

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The adaptive clinical trial approach could be a way to restore the faith of potential participants and help reassure them that the process is safe and efficient. After all, many people have been helped by these trials, and those who participate could help save countless lives in the future.

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