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California avocados have a voice.

So does milk and so does pork, the other white meat.                                                                                        

So why is it that rural farmers have found a way to band together to benefit their entire industry, but big pharma has not?

Do we not want to admit that most Americans don’t know, don’t understand and definitely don’t appreciate clinical research participation?

I really enjoyed the patient recruitment and retention panel discussion at #SCOPE2015, moderated by Kelly McKee today. While it was titled “What Works, What Doesn’t and What Needs To Change”, I’d like to chime in on “What Should Change”.

What should change is the clinical research industry’s failure to promote research participation on a mass-media level, in the same way that farming and dairy boards have banded together to make sure we’ve got Guacamole in our diet and that we’ve “got milk” on the brain.  I’m talking grand scale, big time advertising using the very same outlets we rely on every day to find these patients. (Television, Radio, Print, Online) Heck, there should be a NASCAR race car sponsored by this initiative if we knew what was good for us.

As a self professed Patient Advertising Guru (others have since confirmed), I’m rather certain that a dedicated mass-media campaign would result in a sizable increase of response to patient recruitment campaigns…and as long as we need patients, we continue to commit to this campaign initiative to promote the “wonders” of clinical research…Because the “wonders” of clinical research are the stories that are not getting told…Stories that would likely influence someone to dial the number or visit a website the next time they are exposed to an advertisement.

The “wonders” of clinical research kept my terminally ill mother alive and in my life for 5 more years than doctors said was possible. The stories are not always dramatic. I have such bad reflux that would ruin me if I didn’t have a PPI to take every morning. When I take my pill in the morning, I thank heaven it exists, but really I should be thanking the nameless volunteers who helped soothe the beast in my belly.

I’ll be willing to bet you that every dollar spent on advertising the wonders of research participation has the potential to save many dollars more on future recruitment campaigns.

It’s time for a collective, society changing movement. It’s time for real money to be raised to support a real campaign that creates real change in the perception, and ultimately, participation.

As a vendor judged by advertising ROI, I’m obviously happy to start any conversation that can make the patient recruitment campaigns I execute for my clients more successful.

Sincerely,

A pistachio eating, milk guzzling (and blood donating) Patient Advertising Guru