demanding, and the process will not be as productive as a cooperative dialogue would be.

The important role of the consumers should be borne in mind during this part of the workshop as we hear from representatives of voluntary health agencies, the device industry, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Panelists from each organization will describe their organization’s relationship with the Clinical Research Enterprise, define the organization’s contribution to the enterprise, and discuss the organization’s needs and concerns related to the research arena.

THE ROLE OF VOLUNTARY HEALTH ASSOCIATIONS IN THE CLINICAL RESEARCH ENTERPRISE

John Stevens, M.D.

Vice President for Extramural Grants, Research Department

American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has a single purpose, which is to eliminate cancer as a major health problem, and it accomplishes that goal through a variety of programs. The organization is present in 3,400 communities around the country and represents the interests of cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their families. The Clinical Research Enterprise has been critical to the progress that has been made in the cancer arena. Cancer is foremost among the health concerns of the American public, and the disease costs the nation about $180 billion a year.

From the perspective of the American Cancer Society, funding for the Clinical Research Enterprise continues to be a high priority. The clinical research enterprise also faces a barrier in dissemination. New therapies and standards of care must be disseminated throughout the health care delivery system in order for them to achieve the goal of improving care.

The Clinical Research Enterprise has been critical to the progress that has been made in the cancer arena.

—John Stevens

In addition, many patients have limited access to the fruits of the Clinical Research Enterprise. The new therapies produced by clinical research do not reach enough patients. Barriers to receiving the high quality care that the country can produce include educational barriers, financial barriers (including inadequate insurance coverage for cutting-edge care), and barriers within the health care delivery system that may make accessing high quality care difficult. This is especially true in access among medically underserved communities and populations.

For many cancer patients, all of these barriers may apply. In addition to increased funding for the Clinical Research Enterprise, the American Cancer



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