By Jen Horonjeff, PhD., Founder and CEO, Savvy Cooperative
As an advocate for patients and a patient myself, I’m often asked the question, “Why don’t more patients participate in clinical trials?” There are many reasons I hear from fellow patients about why they have not participated in a clinical trial, including not being aware of trials as a treatment option, not knowing where to find trials they are eligible for, and not wanting to be a “guinea pig” in the name of research.
At the heart of all these reasons is a lack of information and processes that meet patients where they are. For those patients who are reticent about clinical trials, we need better education around trials and more transparency surrounding what exactly they are signing up for if they do participate. For those who are actively seeking to understand if a clinical trial is right for them, we need to make it easier for them to find trials they qualify for and simplify enrollment and participation. As a patient, little is worse than making an already lousy situation – being sick – worse because you can’t access the help you need.