Clinical Trials Day 2019: ACRP talks clinical research as a care – and career – option

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/benjavisa)
(Image: Getty/benjavisa)

Related tags Clinical trials ACRP Greater Gift PopUp Star

The industry today celebrates Clinical Trials Day 2019, with events that will help promote awareness and a better understanding of study participation barriers, says ACRP, which aims to pilot a new initiative to advance the workforce early next year.

The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) has designated May 20th​ as Clinical Trials Day, a day to provide recognition and express gratitude to those working across the industry.

ACRP Executive Director Jim Kremidas said much of the celebration remains the same: “[R]ecognizing the contributions our members and other professionals in the industry make to the advancement of public health.”

New this year, however, is an expanded focus to also raise awareness of clinical trials as a care option as well as clinical research as a career, through local, grassroots events, Kremidas told us.

These events kick off today as part of the PopUp Star competition, which was launched in November 2017​ by the non-profit group Greater Gift.

Kremidas said, “These events are being led by local teams of clinical research professionals and volunteers to help discover how different grassroots community-based events have an impact on awareness of clinical trials as a care option.

“Understanding what methods will better help us engage the community, should provide the ability to create champions for research long after these events are over, and how we can improve root cause issues that affect participation in research.”

Outsourcing-Pharma last month partnered with ACRP, Greater Gift, and PopUp Star​ to discuss the ways in which the industry is working to raise clinical research awareness, how it is addressing “patient centricity” – and in what ways it is falling short​.

A continually evolving conversation, the discussion has sparked action, creativity, and inclusivity from multiple stakeholders, said Greater Gift Executive Director Amanda Wright.

“Clinical trial awareness cannot happen without all of us,”​​ she previously told us​, which is why the organization this year partnered ACRP to further advance its PopUp Star competition.

“This is really a public health service, conducting clinical trials,”​ added Kremidas, calling it “the ultimate pay-it-forward business.”

“We’re learning things constantly, not just about drugs and devices, but about other aspects of health care — And that information is what drives the decisions of clinicians in the future ... It’s absolutely critical,”​ said Kremidas.

ACRP also recently launched a new initiative called “Partners in Workforce Advancement” (PWA), a multi-stakeholder group, including sponsors, sites, and academic institutions, among others, all focused on raising awareness of clinical research as a career​.

The idea is to develop a campaign that helps raise awareness among those making career decisions, such as seniors in high school and college students. “The problem the industry has had is there is no focused message and concerted effort across the industry,”​ Kremidas explained.

As part of its effort to address this, ACRP recently hired a marketing agency to help develop a message that can be used across the industry. Now, the association is looking for more organizations to sign up as PWA members, support from which will help fund the campaign. Kremidas said the goal is to run a pilot sometime early next year.

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