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CISCRP’s New Clinical Research Awareness Initiative Uses Empty Pharmacy Shelves to Educate Public and Patients

MT Pharmacy

New clinical research awareness initiative shows what pharmacies would look like without the study volunteers and clinical trials behind medical discoveries.

The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP), a Boston-based nonprofit organization, has released a new educational video called the “MT Pharmacy”. Sponsored by Sanofi US, the digital public service announcement is designed to increase awareness of the important role that clinical research participants and clinical trials play in advancing public health.

While there are thousands of experimental drugs currently in development, with the potential to ease symptoms or even cure various diseases, none of these treatments will become available to patients without clinical trials and clinical trial volunteers. In a global study conducted by CISCRP in 2017, close to 70% of the public has never or rarely considered clinical trials as an option when discussing treatment options with their doctor or health provider. And only 6% of people who suffer from severe and chronic diseases participate in clinical trials each year. Low participation rates delay and limit the development of new medical therapies.

Clinical trial participation is often overlooked as a treatment option by patients and health care providers due to low awareness, low perceived relevance, and inadequate access to information. As part of its’ larger mission, CISCRP produces a number of educational programs and initiatives that focus on raising clinical research awareness, educating patients and the public about clinical research, and enhancing study volunteer experiences during and after clinical trial participation.    

“Sanofi is proud to collaborate with CISCRP on the MT Pharmacy initiative to raise awareness of the importance of clinical trial participation,” said Peter Lalli, Head of Sanofi North America Corporate Social Responsibility. “Clinical trials are essential for gaining access to new therapies and helping to ensure medicines are safe and effective across all patient populations.”

The MT Pharmacy initiative is a creative new positioning developed in collaboration with Langland, an international ad agency. The goal of the MT Pharmacy is to demonstrate what modern medicine would look like without clinical trials and study volunteers. Ken Getz, Founder and Board Chair of CISCRP, comments “The MT Pharmacy is a novel approach to both engage the local community and to educate the public through the words of real people. The initiative also encouraged attendance at an AWARE for ALL live educational program held in Newark later in the week. CISCRP plans to replicate this initiative in other cities throughout the world to continue to elevate knowledge and literacy about clinical research participation.”

The video of the MT Pharmacy initiative can be viewed here and will be shared widely with clinical research professionals and the public.

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