NEWS: C&W aim to promote clinical trials

Cohn and Wolfe’s healthcare division has launched a service for pharmaceutical companies to encourage patients to participate in clinical trials.

Cohn and Wolfe’s healthcare division has launched a service for

pharmaceutical companies to encourage patients to participate in

clinical trials.



Inform, unveiled this week at the British Association of Pharmaceutical

Physicians, was developed by the PR agency with pharmaceutical giants

SmithKline Beecham and Du Pont.



Cohn and Wolfe has invested a six-figure-sum in the launch, hiring two

staff and conducting research among the pharmaceutical industry to gauge

responses to the service, the first of its kind.



The service, which will operate from Cohn and Wolfe’s offices, aims to

reduce delays in clinical trials - with the consequent delays in product

licensing and loss of profits - by combating public suspicion of the

process.



It plans to develop materials for use by medical investigators heading

the trials including slides, pamphlets and flip charts.



The aim is to increase the pool of patients available and minimise the

drop-out rate by providing ‘patient-friendly’ information.



‘Most medical jargon is not understood by the man on the street and

won’t inspire confidence in trials,’ said Martin Ellis, director of Cohn

and Wolfe Healthcare.



‘We need to re-educate the consumer to expel the myth that patients are

guinea pigs’.



To bring a product onto the market takes an average of 12 years.

Companies need 2,000 to 3,000 patients to apply for a marketing license

and the process can cost approximately pounds 200m.



Ellis is aiming to give companies a head start before a product comes

off patent and opens up to competitors.



‘A week of delay is a week of sales lost forever,’ he said.



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