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National poll: adults have high interest in clinical trials, but lack information

The PAN Foundation released national polling results today, which showed that 75 percent of adults living with a chronic illness are interested in learning more about clinical trials, but don’t have the information they need to apply and participate.

The survey, conducted in January 2023, reviewed the existing knowledge and general perceptions around clinical trials among adults living with chronic illnesses. Interest in learning more was especially high among:

  • Adults ages 18-34: 84%
  • Adults ages 35-44: 83%
  • Hispanic adults: 83%
  • Black adults: 76%
  • Adults ages 45-64: 75%

Despite significant interest in clinical trials, more than half of those polled said they didn’t know what trials they were eligible for or how to apply.

While 75 percent of the adults polled said it was important for people like them to participate in clinical trials, only 34 percent reported that people in their community currently participate in trials.

Clinical trials have historically underrepresented and excluded racial and ethnic minority groups. PAN advocates for increased representation in clinical trials to ensure that as new treatments are evaluated, efficacy and safety are assured across all communities.

PAN’s polling indicates that education and proactive outreach is key to increasing knowledge and inclusion. The polling also showed that barriers to learning more about clinical trials included not knowing where to find information and living in a community where clinical trials are not discussed

“I was encouraged to see the high rate of interest in clinical trials across all demographics, but this polling tells us that greater education is needed, particularly in communities that don’t currently see themselves represented in clinical trials,” said PAN Foundation President and CEO Kevin L. Hagan. “Ensuring that clinical trials reflect the diversity of America is imperative to health equity.”

PAN’s polling also found that a majority of adults trusted their doctor to provide information about clinical trials, but nearly 80 percent said they had never discussed the option of participating in a clinical trial with their doctor.

As part of our ongoing commitment to health equity, the PAN Foundation has compiled a list of resources to help patients learn more about clinical trials. Patients should always consult with their healthcare provider about whether joining a clinical trial is a good option.

About the PAN Foundation 
The PAN Foundation is an independent, national 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to helping federally and commercially insured people living with life-threatening, chronic, and rare diseases with the out-of-pocket costs for their prescribed medications. 

Since 2004, we have provided more than 1 million underinsured patients with $4 billion in financial assistance. Partnering with generous donors, healthcare providers and pharmacies, we provide the underinsured population access to the healthcare treatments they need to best manage their conditions and focus on improving their quality of life. Learn more at panfoundation.org.