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Research IS for everyone *some exclusions may apply

6/3/2014 5:51:35 PM
Categories: Musings

My colleagues and I attended the Jacksonville Senior Expo 2014 last month. I was surprised by the number of people who thought that they were too old to take part in a clinical research study. We were happy to let them know that we have research especially for them! In fact a recent article in The Boston Globe “Oldest patients are often left out of drug trials” (Health & Wellness, 5/12/14) stressed the increasing importance of designing clinical trials to enroll individuals 65 and over to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new therapies in an aging demographic.

In April the FDA held a public meeting to seek comments on “how to improve age, sex, and ethnic diversity in clinical trials.” Although this issue was addressed as far back as 1989, it was never an actual FDA mandate to the pharmaceutical industry. Now we may see guidelines implemented as soon as this Fall.

In my experience, our “senior” research participants tend to be the most involved in the process. They enjoy being part of a community moving medicine forward. They appreciate “giving back”, and they value the opportunity to affect the potential health outcomes for their kids and grandkids.

So gone are the days when simply not being a healthy 30 year old male would exclude you from clinical research….

* Now for the caveat. Although Encore Research strives to provide ample research opportunities across our seven sites, there are still a few universal exclusions to research participation including: breastfeeding, pregnancy or attempting to become pregnant; unstable health (mental or physical), unless that is the specific area of study; active cancer or recent organ transplant. But before you despair, note that there are always exceptions. And as Bob Dylan so aptly observed…..”the times, they are a’changin’”.

International Clinical Trials Day

5/20/2014 6:45:39 PM
Categories: Insider Corner

Tuesday May 20th is International Clinical Trials Day. Dr. Michael J. Koren has a special message for everyone with the Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research and Encore Research Group


> View the Video 


Don't stop peddling!!!

5/16/2014 6:03:32 PM
Categories: Musings

It’s true that once you learn to ride a bike, you really don’t forget. However, because I’m not a frequent cyclist, my bike riding can be wobbly. This is especially true on unfamiliar or busy roadways.

Last month, my husband and I spent a weekend in Cedar Key enjoying the quaint old-Florida scene and perusing the impressive annual arts festival. We toured the area on our bikes – the weather was lovely, not too hot yet – and there was lots to see and plenty of yummy local fare to sample.

As it turned out, we bought a nice framed woodcut print, and my husband – who admittedly is a better and more confident cyclist than I, strapped that piece of art onto the back of his bike and off we went. His instructions to me were to follow close behind in case the parcel shifted so that I could sound an alert.

His assurances were not as convincing as I would have liked, but I set out riding as close to his rear tire as I dared. Interestingly however, even though peddling like crazy to keep up, when I kept my eyes trained ahead of me focused on the prize strapped to his bike – I didn’t wobble!! I wasn’t nervous either, so intent was I on my mission.

Happy ending: the woodcut is now hanging safely in my home and I learned an important truth. Sometimes you can lessen the wobbliness and uncertainty of life by following someone who is more expert than you are and by staying focused on the prize.

Our work in research is a lot like that. As we move into new areas of medical innovation, we can do so with increased confidence because we are following behind experts. JCCR is remarkable and recognized in the clinical research industry partly due to the hundreds of hours of combined experience that our staff represents. Additionally, our persistent and committed focus on the “prize”: safe and accurate research, keeps us on the right path.

So, to those of you who have been part of our journey – thank you! And to those who have not yet traveled on the path of clinical research – join us – we will ride ahead of you with confidence. Just remember….don’t stop peddling!