Diabetes Trials Tend to Focus on Drugs, Exclude Children and Older Adults

Published Online: Friday, May 17, 2013
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A recent study published on April 5, 2013, in Diabetologia suggests that research in diabetes is much more focused on drug development than on prevention. The study is part of the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative, a public-private partnership founded by the FDA and Duke University to improve clinical trials.

Researchers at Duke University analyzed 2500 diabetes studies taken from ClinicalTrials.gov from 2007 to 2010. Nearly 75% of the trials targeted therapeutic topics, mainly drugs, while only 10% focused on preventive issues. Researchers also found that the average study length was 1.8 years. No correlation was found between the geographic locations of the trials and areas most affected by diabetes. Only 4% of trials focused on patients under 18 years old and 30.8% excluded participants over 75 years old.

“It’s important that clinical trials enroll patients who are representative of populations affected by diabetes and its complications,” study researcher Dr. Jennifer Green, MD, an associate professor at Duke University School of Medicine and a member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, said in a DukeHealth article.

Although the findings are not representative of all clinical trials, the authors are hopeful that the research will guide future studies in diabetes.


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