Recently, America’s biopharmaceutical companies joined the American Cancer Society for the Cancer Action Network Clinical Trials Policy Forum at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida

More than 100 attendees joined—including physicians, researchers, patient advocates, business leaders, media and policymakers—to help raise awareness about clinical trials in Florida and review strategies for recruiting more participants.

“Clinical trials are integral in advancing research and in providing patients with new treatment options,” said Emma Van Hook, director of Policy and Research at PhRMA. “The benefits of clinical trials stretch so far beyond each patient, providing knowledge and insights that can lead to the next breakthrough.”

Florida Clinical Trials Infographic image
Florida Clinical Trials Infographic image

The benefits of clinical trials go beyond new treatments and potential cures for society’s most devastating and costly diseases. Additionally, this research results in significant economic impacts in communities like northern Florida. The state is home to 2,571 clinical trials and 119,256 clinical trials participants, and in 2013, $963 million was invested in clinical trials with a total economic impact of $2.7 billion in the state.

Still, there are important opportunities to improve clinical trials. Researchers from the state’s leading research hospitals—Mayo Clinic, University of Florida, University of Miami and Moffitt—all agreed that clinical trials should be the standard of care and that streamlining the regulatory process could be helpful in bringing safe, effective treatments to patients quicker.

“It takes roughly 10-12 years to develop one new medicine,” said Van Hook. “Clinical trials are the most time- and resource-intensive part of the research and development process for a new medicine, and biopharmaceutical companies support and conduct the lion’s share of this work.”

“Clinical trials provide access to promising new treatments for our patients and are essential to reduce the cancer burden in our state,” said Tushar Patel, M.B., Ch.B., dean for research at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus. “Events like this one, which includes researchers from the leading cancer institutes across our state, help to remind all of us that improving access to clinical trials must be a priority.”

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