WASHINGTON /PRNewswire/ — In a first-ever poll conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of the Global Alzheimer’s Platform (GAP) Foundation, nearly 60 percent of Americans report they are definitely willing or would consider participating in Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials, but participation rates show that less than 10 percent are actually doing so. The failure to provide willing Americans more information and easier-to-use tools for participation could be seen as weakening the attack on America’s most feared disease.
At this very moment, 17 Alzheimer’s disease treatments are in Phase 3 clinical trials and on pace to get to market in the next five years, if successful in their trials and approved by the FDA (source). Any successful drug would be the first new therapy on the market in over a decade. To make this five-year aggressive timeline a reality, clinical trial participants are needed now. Recent data collected by the GAP Foundation finds that Americans are ready and willing to help, but lack of participation suggests they do not have the information and tools to do so.
Obtaining qualified trial participants has been one of the greatest challenges in getting clinical trials off the ground, which is why the GAP Foundation commissioned a survey to examine Americans’ perceptions about Alzheimer’s disease and to gauge their willingness to participate in clinical trials.
“We’re closer than ever to finding a treatment for Alzheimer’s, but we need an engaged army of citizen scientists to push these drugs over the line,” said George Vradenburg, co-founder of GAP Foundation and USAgainstAlzheimer’s. “Clinical trials are the ticket to making a cure happen. The first person cured of Alzheimer’s will be in an Alzheimer’s clinical trial.”
John Dwyer, president of the GAP Foundation, added, “One of the reasons we founded the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation was because we heard from dozens of research institutions across the country that they were having difficulty finding and enrolling trial-ready candidates. GAP Foundation’s role in this ongoing effort has been to build better tools and greater awareness of Alzheimer’s clinical trials to accelerate clinical trials.”
The GAP Foundation’s national survey of 2,056 Americans ages 18 and older revealed two clear themes:
1. A majority (59 of Americans are definitely willing or willing to consider taking part in an Alzheimer’s clinical trial.
- 20 percent of Americans said they would definitely be willing to take part in a clinical trial. 22 percent of Millennials ages 18-34 said they would definitely be willing and 13 percent of adults ages 65+ said they would definitely be willing.
- 39 percent of Americans said they would be willing to consider taking part in an Alzheimer’s clinical trial.
Dwyer continues, “Data shows us that the willingness to participate in clinical trials is there, so our next step is to bridge the gap between willingness and actual participation. The way we do that, is to make it as simple as possible for people to learn about what clinical trials they qualify for and how to sign up.”
2. Among those surveyed, willingness to participate in Alzheimer’s clinical trials remains relatively strong among African American, Hispanics and Whites. In reality, far less a percentage of African Americans and Hispanics are enrolled in clinical trials, making minority recruitment into clinical trials a high priority.
- 20 percent of Americans are definitely willing to take part in a clinical trial, including 24 percent who are African American, 16 percent who are Hispanic and 20 percent who are White.
- 39 percent of Americans said they would consider taking part in an Alzheimer’s clinical trial, including 34 percent who are African American, 41 percent who are Hispanic and 39 percent who are White.
“African Americans are two to three times more likely to experience Alzheimer’s than Whites, and Hispanics are one and a half times as likely to experience Alzheimer’s as non-Hispanic whites, making their greater representation in clinical trials a matter of the highest priority,” said Vradenburg.