To coincide with International Clincial Trials Day on 20th May the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have launched an ‘OK to ask’ campaign aimed at encouraging more patients or carers to ask about clincial trials and research studies that could be available to them or their loved ones when they use the NHS.
As a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) we are proud to be supporting the campaign and care passionately about medical research and clincial trials. That's why we run our Trials Acceleration Programme and have partnered up with our colleagues at the Lymphoma Association to promote the ECHELON-1 trial for Hodgkin lymphoma patients - the first clinical trial of its kind to actively recruit patients via social media.
If the ECHELON-1 pilot proves a success it will open up the possibility of other clincial trials becoming directly accessible to patients in the same way and will empower them to find out more about potential clincial trials and treatment choices without the need to rely on asking their doctor. This could go some way to addressing the fact that just 21% of patients would be confident to ask their doctor about research opportunities despite 95% of them believing that it's important that the NHS carry out research studies according to a recent survey conducted by the NIHR Clinical Research Network.