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A Cautious Yes

A new survey suggests that many Americans would consider taking part in a clinical trial, but that most of their doctors do not discuss medical research with them, writes Ed Silverman at Pharmalot.

Silverman notes that previously cited reasons for low participation rates in trials include wide access to medication and difficulties in finding participants who are not taking other medications that could influence the trial.

The survey, conducted on behalf of Research!America by Zogby Analytics, asked 1,000 adults in the US about participation in medical research.

Of those surveyed, 72 percent said that they would be somewhat or very likely to participate in a clinical trial if their physician recommended it. However, 70 percent also said that their doctor has never discussed such research with them. Doctors, the survey further finds, are the preferred source of information about clinical trials — followed closely by the Internet — and physicians, according to the respondents, have the greatest responsibility to educate people about such trials.

"Blaming doctors, however, will not solve the problem," Silverman adds. "How so? A slight majority — 53 percent — say the lack of participation reflects a lack of awareness and information. But the same proportion [cites] a lack of trust.