Almost 7 of 10 Norwegians don’t know about the opportunity to participate in clinical trials.
The annual report Helsepolitisk barometer (Health Political Barometer in English) from Kantar reveals what Norwegians currently think about health politics.
A main finding shows Norwegians do not know what clinical trials are or how to participate in them.
The report is based on a survey conducted with over 2 000 respondents, who are representative of Norwegian population over 18 years old.
Lack of awareness about clinical trials
The population has little knowledge of what clinical studies are, how they are accessed, and if it is a relevant treatment option when diagnosed with cancer.
More than a third of the respondents – 37 per cent – answered they do not know about the routines for clinical trials. In addition, 15 per cent answered, “I am not sure what a clinical trial means” and 16 per cent chose the option “I wouldn’t have known to ask about a clinical trial as a treatment option”.
“If patients don’t know about clinical trials, they won’t know to ask about it either. Clinical studies give access to new treatments. Today, many people don’t have access to clinical trials or don’t know about it. In practice, this creates a class divide,” commented Ketil Widerberg, general manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster.
- Read the story in Dagens Medisin (in Norwegian)
Want more modern treatments
The government should prioritize the use of more modern cancer treatments with less side effects, according to 49 per cent of the respondents.
“Today, most cancer patients need to go through two or three standard-of-care treatments before they are evaluated for precision treatment. Can we as a society move the modern treatments, that precision medicine represent, further into first line of treatment? We need public-private collaboration to develop new cancer treatments to achieve this,” commented Widerberg.
In addition, 38 per cent think giving as good cancer treatment as our neighbouring countries should be the priority. The third most popular option was to prioritize offering more experimental treatment as part of standard care, chosen by 24 per cent of the respondents.
Calling for a Mission on Cancer
An overwhelming majority – 74 per cent – think a Mission on cancer would contribute to improving the lives of people affected by cancer.
“The European Union has launched a Mission on Cancer and set aside a significant amount of money for this. An important part of the Cancer Mission is prevention. Norway can spearhead how to work on cancer prevention and prevention of other diseases,” Widerberg commented.