By Jaron Lockett, Scientific Program Analyst, Office of Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation
On June 1-2, 2017, the NIH will convene a workshop, “Inclusion Across the Lifespan,” in Bethesda, MD. Its goals are to broaden our understanding of the effect of age-related eligibility restrictions on clinical studies and trials, and to identify barriers and facilitators to the inclusion of volunteers of all ages in research. At the workshop, investigators with expertise in conducting clinical studies with pediatric and older populations, ethics experts, and other stakeholders will focus on these questions.
Registration for the workshop is open, but seating may be limited. Thus, we provide the option of watching the plenary sessions of the workshop by videocast. We also invite you and the community of stakeholders to contribute views and ideas through a Request for Information (RFI), that will be published in the near future seeking input on this topic. Keep an eye out for the announcement in the NIH Guide. The RFI will be open until June 30, 2017, for online input.
More attention to inclusion
We’ve made tremendous progress in managing diseases through the development of new drugs and devices over the years that were tested in clinical trials. But children and older people are often excluded from these trials, and this limits the generalizability of study results to some age groups with a high burden of certain diseases and disorders. For example, the drugs and dosages used to treat leukemia in children are different from those needed to treat the disease in adults. Further, trial results about the effectiveness of medications for high blood pressure will likely be different in people who are 40 years old compared to people who are 70 years and older.