CRO lobby steps up social media outreach on YouTube

Clinical research organizations have grown their share of global clinical research business over the years, and the contract drug developers have found an online platform to carry their message around the world: YouTube.

The Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO), the industry group that represents the world's largest CROs, said this week that it has switched on its own YouTube channel, called ACROHealthChannel. The stated goal of the channel, according to the CRO lobby, is to educate the public, policymakers and the press about the big role of the outsourcing outfits in drug development and clinical research.

"ACRO strives to be a resource for anyone in the world who is interested in clinical research and drug development," John Lewis, ACRO's vice president of public affairs, said in a statement. "We find the ACROHealthChannel, our Twitter feed @acrohealth, and other social media to be effective communications tools to reach a broad audience."

For ACRO, there's a major incentive to embrace YouTube, which is one of the world's top online destinations. The group's member companies conduct more than 11,000 clinical trials annually with some 2 million participants in 115 different countries, meaning their business interests span much of the globe. It also has ratcheted up its lobbying efforts to advocate for policies regarding corporate taxes, biosimilars regulation, bioethics standards and other issues of importance to CROs.

In one of ACRO's first YouTube videos, Chairman Jeff McMullen, who is also CEO of PharmaNet/i3, said: "ACRO is now much more engaged in advocacy, especially with U.S. and European policymakers, where we communicate with them on a regular basis on the importance of clinical research and drug development."

- here's the release
- check out the channel