WASHINGTON: Media coverage of clinical trials could be jeopardizing
the chances of recruiting patients, warned the Association of Clinical
Research Professionals (ACRP).
In a white paper and survey released last week, ACRP reported that 75%
of its members believe media reporting about clinical research has
confused and scared the public.
However, the paper also acknowledges that patients are more savvy to the
clinical trial process, thanks to the media, and only 40% of those
surveyed said it was harder to recruit patients now than five years
Despite this, the report cautioned, 'Public perception of clinical
trials will continue to directly impact sponsors' abilities to recruit
patients in a growing number of trials.'
The study examined coverage over two years in such publications as The
New York Times, the LA Times and USA Today. 'Of those articles, nearly
half reflect a decidedly negative slant with the rest being split
between those considered neutral and those construed as positive.'
Also cited was a recent episode of ABC's Gideon's Crossing, when a
patient was depicted as a 'willing guinea pig who had helped drug
companies make billions of dollars.'
Dennis DeRosia, president of ACRP's North American Regional Council,
said his members only want to see greater context and balance in
The demands of the press prompted ACRP to retain its first PR agency,
The Aker Partners, six months ago.
'This is a quantum leap for us,' DeRosia said. 'We want to educate the
public so it can make good healthcare decisions.'