By Ryan Bailey
In a recent New York Times article, Paula Span raises the concern that elderly subjects are frequently omitted from clinical trials. Consequently, physicians know very little about how a given treatment may affect their older patients. Is a medication effective for the elderly? Is it safe? Without data, how is a physician to know?
Span’s article is timely and aligns well with similar industry trends toward increased patient centricity and trial diversity. Yet, expanding trials to include older patients poses a challenge for research teams because it brings two tenets of quality research into conflict with one another – representative study populations and patient safety.