By Lisa Foster-McNulty, MSN, RN, CDE

Have you ever wanted to participate in a clinical trial for diabetes so you could play a role in the development of a new product or make a contribution to our body of knowledge about the cure/prevention/treatment of diabetes, but didn’t know how to do it? 

The process is now much more user-friendly than it has ever been!

Clinical Trials Connection is a free, recently-launched tool from JDRF and TrialReach that allows people with diabetes to find local diabetes  clinical trials for which they would qualify.  The website , is intuitive and easy to search.  It is for those with various types of diabetes, not just Type 1.  The old web site was hard to navigate, but this new tool is very easy to use.  To find clinical trials in your area, you go to the web site and enter your diabetes type, geographic location, and the distance you are willing to travel.  The web site will give you a series of inclusion/exclusion questions, then give you a list of nearby trials with links to pages giving additional details. 

One of the biggest problems in diabetes research and product development has been connecting the diverse range of people with diabetes to these valuable clinical trials.  JDRF has reported that more than 80% of clinical trials are delayed or fail because researchers are not able to identify enough participants, and 85% of people with diabetes don’t have the chance to participate in research because they aren’t aware of the clinical trials.  According to JDRF, just in the US alone, 20,000 participants with Type 1 are needed for clinical trials.  The participant shortage for Type 2 clinical trials is not known, but the Joslin Diabetes Center has extensive aims for current and future Type 2 diabetes research.  They want to focus on areas such as education, technology and medication development, prevention, prediction, and reversal of Type 2 diabetes.  There is so much to learn.

Participating in a clinical trial is a great way for people with diabetes to make a contribution , and now the Clinical Trials Connection tool makes it easier to take part so we can quicken the pace of innovation!