FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin

CLINICAL TRIALS FACE RISING PUBLIC DISTRUST

July 14, 2006
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Americans are increasingly distrustful of clinical research information from pharmaceutical companies, a trend that may be impeding the trial process, experts say.

A forthcoming survey by Harris Interactive will show that only 23 to 24 percent of Americans trust clinical research information from pharmaceutical companies, Ken Getz, chairman of the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation, said at a recent industry conference. That figure is down dramatically from 30 percent in 2002 and 72 percent in 1996.

Harris Interactive has also found that only 14 percent of Americans consider pharma companies to be "honest," which is comparable to public opinion of the tobacco, oil and used car industries, and that 70 percent believe that pharma companies put profits ahead of patients' interests, according to Christine Pierre, president of RxTrials Institute.

Partly as a result, most clinical trials now face significant delays enrolling patients, she said. In 2003, 72 percent of clinical trials were more than a month late on patient enrollment, up from 60 percent in 1997.