The new National Institutes of Health director, Monica Bertagnolli, said it’s a “failure” that enrollment in government-funded clinical trials has lagged behind those funded by the pharmaceutical industry.
“If you just look at the number of patients who go on government-funded trials, it’s been completely flat over the last decade,” she said at a meeting of the advocacy group Friends of Cancer Research. “If you go and look at the number of people who go on pharma-sponsored trials, it’s just this commitment and this increase.”
A Johns Hopkins University study published in 2015 showed that the pharmaceutical industry funds six times more clinical trials than the government. Industry-sponsored trials increased 43% from 2006 to 2014, while newly registered NIH-funded trials decreased 24% over the same period.
Bertagnolli hedged and said that the pharmaceutical industry has produced “amazing results,” but that there is an important role for NIH in answering questions that are “not of central interest to pharma.”