Clinical trials drive scientific breakthroughs – but not without volunteers

Jun 15, 2017
Clinical trials drive scientific breakthroughs – but not without volunteers

Clinical trials are a vital component in the discovery and development of new ways to prevent, diagnose, treat and cure disease. Without them, scientific breakthroughs would be few and far between as getting these discoveries from the research lab to the bedside is a long and complex process – with clinical trials at its core.

Despite their importance, around 37% of clinical trials in the USA do not recruit sufficient numbers of patients or healthy volunteers to progress – and 11% do not recruit any participants at all.1 This means potentially life-changing discoveries made in a research laboratory never make it to the patients that need them.

The key to a clinical trial’s success is the participation of volunteers. Many people are given the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial if they are already undergoing therapy for a related condition. However, a substantial number of trials still fail to recruit adequate numbers, particularly among older adults, who are also those most disproportionately impacted by chronic disease. Many factors play into this, including practical elements such as perceived financial issues or transportation barriers, alongside a lack of awareness about what clinical trials are and how they work.

To combat this situation, the Alliance for Aging Research has partnered with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) to create a short animation to promote awareness of the need and importance of participating in clinical research. The video discusses what clinical trials are, how they are structured and operate, issues with diversity, and how they lead to the life-changing medical solutions needed to save and improve lives for patients both now and in the future.

The animation can be viewed here.


1Our Mission. Coalition for Clinical Trials Awareness. Accessed May 10, 2017. Available at:

Clinical trials drive scientific breakthroughs – but not without volunteers

Astellas Patient Advocacy is a function within Corporate Affairs at Astellas that focuses on creating, building and maintaining third-party relationships. We serve as a conduit between Astellas and external stakeholders to help improve patient outcomes, improve access issues and address patients’ unmet needs head on.

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