Press release

New clinical trials report from PA Consulting suggests biopharma companies are not keeping pace with changing public attitudes to sharing their medical data

29 February 2024

US patients are willing to share their health data across clinical trials studies, offering the potential for global biopharma organizations to radically increase the pace of R&D, according to new data from PA Consulting (PA), the company that's bringing ingenuity to life.

Six in 10 (64%) respondents said that they would be comfortable sharing their health data with researchers, and 65% said that they would be willing to share their data across multiple studies if it could help accelerate the development of new treatments or cures, according to PA’s latest “Taking the Pulse” survey. Significant advances in technology are enabling secure data sharing and new analysis approaches. But global biopharma leaders need to do more to help US consumers benefit from the trust and commitment they make when participating in clinical research.

Additionally, half of respondents (51%) said the pace of medical advancements in the US is too slow, while 47% said the US should invest more in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence for medical diagnosis and treatment. Having clean, at scale data to work with will lead to better and faster research results and will support the development and approval of new therapies that are critically needed to save lives and lower the cost of development for new drugs.

Additional findings from the survey show that:

  • People believe in the importance of diverse, safe clinical research. Three in four (74%) respondents agreed that clinical trials are essential for advancing medical science, and 83% said that they would want to participate in a clinical trial if they had a serious or life-threatening condition.
  • Nearly eight in 10 (77%) agree that clinical trials are essential to bring lifesaving medicines to market and 65% agree that the US should adopt a more streamlined system for organizing and monitoring clinical trials. Yet only 28% agree that the high cost of medical research and development justifies the high prices of new drugs.
  • Diversity efforts have helped. While awareness of all biopharma brands tested is higher amongst those aged 55+ and of white ethnicity, trust is higher amongst African Americans (highest for Pfizer and GSK), suggesting investment in D&I initiatives have had a positive impact.
  • Trust remains an issue. Trust in global biopharma brands is consistently lower amongst those who voted for Donald Trump in 2020 and those on lower incomes – these groups need assurances about the motivations and transparency of pharma companies. Additionally older consumers aged 55+ tend to have lower trust in all organizations, but particularly in pharmaceutical companies (19%). African Americans have marginally higher trust in pharma companies (albeit still low at 29%). This means that biopharma companies running clinical trials need to make more efforts to reassure consumers about the prioritization of participant safety.

Charlie Paterson, clinical development expert at PA Consulting, said: “We are seeing a great appetite from the public to participate in clinical research, and to amplify the impact of their participation by their willingness to share data across studies. However leading life sciences companies must ensure that the technologies they deploy are supporting their ability to safely manage the data they are being trusted to use.

“Engaging the public will be crucial, so Clinical Development Leaders must accelerate efforts to digitize and to harness AI to organize their data and to demonstrate impact while consumer sentiment is positive. Organizations need to be creative with patient facing brands to reach potential trial participants, and should consider outsourcing trials to organizations, such as leading Contract Research Organizations, that have invested in data, design and technology to improve recruitment, participation and adherence. If we can increase trust in clinical trials, we expect to see much more diversity and inclusion in trials and therefore, a broader, more representative population to study and learn from.”


This “Taking the Pulse” research was conducted by PA Consulting as part of an online survey. The study was conducted in the US between January 4, 2024 – January 10, 2024, and surveyed 2,000 nationally representative respondents according to age, gender, region, ethnicity, and employment status. Respondents who took part were specifically signed up to the panel to take part in research projects like this.

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