Recruiting the right number of the right patients for any clinical trial can be a tough prospect. Now there are a host of new efforts to match a patient with a clinical trial, including a service offered by the for-profit company EmergingMed. Analysts note that only about a quarter of the 200,000 eligible U.S. patients diagnosed with cancer participate in clinical trials each year. And while there are a number of reasons cited, the primary cause appears to be simple ignorance about what's going on.
The Wall Street Journal notes that there are a number of new outreach efforts that are being launched, but one of the most intriguing is operated by EmergingMed, which helps coordinate a patient's search for the right trial.
"We need to explain to the American public that the drugs we are benefiting from today did not come out of thin air," says Armin Weinberg, director of Baylor College of Medicine's Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Research Center in Houston. "Their participation in trials is the thing that is going to help us advance in all these battles against cancer, asthma, diabetes and hypertension."