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Lack of clinical trial opportunities for people with type 1 diabetes

People with type 1 diabetes are being denied the chance to help scientists find a cure for the lifelong disease, according to new research by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
A survey of more than 800 type 1 diabetes patients in the UK revealed that over three quarters (77%) have never been given the opportunity to take part in clinical trials to improve medical understanding of the autoimmune condition.
This is despite the fact that nearly all (96%) of those denied the opportunity stating they would be willing to participate in clinical research .
The study also suggests that clinical teams are discussing with patients the clinical trials and studies open to them as part of routine practice, with 72% of respondents saying they have not once been informed about medical research by their clinical team.
While overall participation in UK clinical trials across all areas of medicine is growing, this is not the case for type 1 diabetes-related research, with JDRF estimating that less 3% of people living with type 1 diabetes are currently involved in a trial.
Karen Addingto, the charity’s chief executive, said: “This lack of clinical trial opportunities for those living with type 1 diabetes is a huge obstacle on the path to curing this condition.
“The Government must work with researchers, funders and patient groups to implement the recommendations that will allow the NHS to meet the ambition of putting research and innovation at its heart .”
Professor Desmond Johnsto, director of the UK Diabetes Research Network, commented: “I am disappointed to see that despite the commitment the NHS has made to supporting research, so few people with type 1 diabetes are currently enjoying access to clinical trials.
“Great strides are being made in terms of clinical trials participation levels for other conditions. I would strongly urge clinicians and patients to investigate actively participation in type 1 diabetes trials.”

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