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Infographic – U.S. Majorities Support Clinical Trials

Bar chart: U.S. views on clinical trials

(Pew Research Center)

10 Dec. 2022. A solid majority of Americans adults consider it very important to conduct clinical trials, even if it takes longer to develop new treatments for disease. Pew Research Center reported the findings late last month that also show some differences in support for clinical trials among ethnic and racial groups, and age and education levels in the U.S.

The Pew survey, conducted in September, shows 65 percent of Americans say it is “very important to go through the process of conducting clinical trials, even if will lengthen the time it takes to develop new treatments.” About three in 10 (29%) believe it is somewhat important, and five percent indicate not too, or not at all important. Few differences are found in the importance of clinical trials rated between men and women, and unlike many topics involving public policy, between Democrats and Republicans.

The Pew Research Center report focused on somewhat lower percentages of Black and Hispanic Americans, about six in 10 in each group, rating clinical trials as very important for developing new treatments. The report notes that racial and ethnic minorities are often under-represented in clinical trials, even when people in those populations are more affected by disease. The Pew researchers followed up with focus groups that revealed a range of opinions and experiences affecting their responses to this question.

The data also show differences in rating the importance of clinical trials by age and education levels in the U.S. The percentage of Americans who consider clinical trials as very important rises somewhat from 62 percent among those age 18 to 29, to 68 percent for those age 65 and older. Among education levels, the differences are more pronounced. About six in 10 (59%) of Americans with a high school education or less rate clinical trials as very important, with that percentage rising to about three-quarters (74%) among those with post-graduate degrees.

Pew Research Center conducted the survey online with 10,588 U.S. adults taking part in the Center’s American Trends Panel from 13 to 18 Sept. 2022. Participants are recruited through national random sampling of U.S. households, with results weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population.

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