Opinion: Listen: Pharma companies market their drugs to young adults — so why don’t they include them in clinical trials?

Pharmaceutical companies market their drugs to adolescents and young adults, so why don't they include them in clinical trials?

Sneha Dave has been living with a chronic disease for 17 years — almost her entire life. Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when she was 6 years old, Dave has experienced firsthand the frustrating and often terrifying side effects of drugs that were not tested on people her own age. So when she sees Instagram posts and TikTok videos from pharmaceutical companies that are geared toward her generation, she bristles that many companies haven’t bothered to include adolescents and young adults in clinical trials testing new medicines.

In this episode of the “First Opinion Podcast,” I talk with Dave about the ways in which pharmaceutical companies and clinical research organizations should be reaching out to adolescents and young adults to include them in clinical trials. She also explains why she believes that the term “adults,” which now usually encompasses everyone between the ages of 18 and 65 years, needs to be broken down a bit; young adults ages 18 to 26 should be given their own category.

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