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International Clinical Trials

Communication is Key

ICT: This yearís spotlight at the Partnerships in Clinical Trials (PCT) Europe event is on patient centricity. In your opinion, what are the main challenges in recruiting and retaining subjects today, and what can be done to improve this often labour-intensive and costly task?

Naomi Brooker: While researching with industry professionals, it appears that one of the fundamental issues lies within how we are communicating Ė patients donít want to feel like guinea pigs that are being experimented on. The general public perception is that clinical trials can be risky, and this can be off-putting; after all, they generally only see the disasters in the news, not the many success stories that arise from trials. In particular, some patients worry that they could be given a placebo that could be detrimental to their health, while others are concerned that companies are more interested in profit than helping them recover; others decided that the risk factor was too great.

To remove this underlying fear, communication is key and marketing campaigns, as well as patient advocates, can play a pivotal role. What are you, as a company, doing to ensure that patients feel valued? How are they engaged with? Are they treated as a number or a person? These are the real questions that can make a difference.

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Naomi Brooker is the Conference Director of PCT Europe, developing the event in partnership with their advisory board. Since completing a BSc at UCL, UK, in Biomedical Science and a Law Conversion at BBP Law School, UK, she has been researching key trends and current challenges with various industry sectors such as pharma and agrochemical, most recently focusing on clinical trials.
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Naomi Brooker
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