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Regional disparities in the availability of cancer clinical trials in Korea
Jieun Jang, Wonyoung Choi, Sung Hoon Sim, Sokbom Kang
Epidemiol Health. 2024;46:e2024006.   Published online December 11, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2024006
  • 1,931 View
  • 54 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Unequal access to cancer clinical trials is an important issue, given the potential benefits of participation for cancer patients. We evaluated regional disparities in access to cancer clinical trials in Korea.
METHODS
From the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety database, we extracted 2,465 records of all cancer clinical trials approved between January 2012 and April 2023. To measure disparities in cancer clinical trial access, we calculated the ratio of clinical trials open to non-capital areas relative to those open to capital areas. We then analyzed temporal trends in this ratio, which we termed the trial geographical equity index (TGEI).
RESULTS
Disparities in access to cancer clinical trials, as indicated by the TGEI, did not significantly improve during the study period (regression coefficient, 0.002; p=0.59). However, for phase II/III trials sponsored by global pharmaceutical companies, the TGEI improved significantly (regression coefficient, 0.021; p<0.01). In contrast, the TGEI deteriorated for trials initiated by investigators or those testing domestically developed therapeutics (regression coefficient, -0.015; p=0.05). Furthermore, the increasing trend of TGEI for phase II/III trials sponsored by global companies began to reverse after 2019, coinciding with the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
CONCLUSIONS
Over the past decade, access to cancer clinical trials has improved in Korea, particularly for phase II/III trials evaluating therapeutics from global companies. However, this increase in accessibility has not extended to trials initiated by investigators or those assessing domestically developed therapeutics. Additionally, the impact of COVID-19 on disparities in clinical trial access should be closely monitored.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 개시된 암 임상시험 수가 국내 수도권에 비해 비수도권에서 절대적으로 부족하고, 이러한 부족이 지난 10년간 개선되지 않았음을 보여줍니다. 다만, 글로벌 제약회사의 치료제를 검증하는 2상/3상 암 임상시험의 경우 임상시험 접근성에 대한 이러한 지역적 격차가 의미 있게 감소했으나 이러한 개선 또한 2019년 이후로는 정체되었을 수 있습니다. 상기 결과들은 임상시험 가용성의 형평성을 향상시키기 위해서는 국내 임상시험 개시 규모가 지역적 불균형을 이루고 있음에 대한 인식이 높아져야 하고, 비수도권 지역에서 임상시험 개시를 방해하는 장벽을 식별하는 데 추가적인 노력이 필요함을 강조합니다.
Key Message
The findings in this study indicate scarcity of cancer clinical trials in non-capital areas compared to that in capital areas of Korea, which has not improved over the past decade. However, this regional disparity in the access to clinical trials meaningfully decreased for phase II/III trials testing therapeutics from global pharmaceutical companies, though this progress may have stalled after 2019. This study highlights that increasing awareness of the regional imbalance in clinical trial access is vital and further efforts are needed to identify the barriers impeding the initiation of clinical trials in non-capital areas to improve the equity of availability.
Trends and disparities in avoidable, treatable, and preventable mortalities in South Korea, 2001-2020: comparison of capital and non-capital areas
Sang Jun Eun
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022067.   Published online August 16, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022067
  • 8,540 View
  • 286 Download
  • 5 Web of Science
  • 4 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to describe the regional avoidable mortality trends in Korea and examine the trends in avoidable mortality disparities between the Seoul Capital Area and non-Seoul-Capital areas, thereby exploring the underlying reasons for the trend changes.
METHODS
Age-standardized mortality rates from avoidable causes between 2001-2020 were calculated by region. Regional disparities in avoidable mortality were quantified on both absolute and relative scales. Trends and disparities in avoidable mortality were analyzed using joinpoint regression models.
RESULTS
Avoidable, treatable, and preventable mortalities in Korea decreased at different rates over time by region. The largest decreases were in the non-Seoul-Capital non-metropolitan area for avoidable and preventable mortality rates and the non-Seoul- Capital metropolitan area for treatable mortality rates, despite the largest decline being in the Seoul Capital Area prior to around 2009. Absolute and relative regional disparities in avoidable and preventable mortalities generally decreased. Relative disparities in treatable mortality between areas widened. Regional disparities in all types of mortalities tended to improve after around 2009, especially among males. In females, disparities in avoidable, treatable, and preventable mortalities between areas improved less or even worsened.
CONCLUSIONS
Trends and disparities in avoidable mortality across areas in Korea seem to have varied under the influence of diverse social changes. Enhancing health services to underserved areas and strengthening gender-oriented policies are needed to reduce regional disparities in avoidable mortality.
Summary
Korean summary
2001년부터 2020년까지 회피가능, 예방가능 사망률의 수도권과 비수도권 대도시, 비수도권 비대도시 지역 간 절대적, 상대적 격차는 대체로 감소했지만, 치료가능 사망률의 상대적 격차는 커졌다. 회피가능, 치료가능, 예방가능 사망률의 지역 간 격차는 2009년경 이후에 특히 남성에서 개선됐지만, 여성의 경우 덜 개선되거나 오히려 악화되기도 했다.
Key Message
Regional disparities in avoidable, treatable, and preventable mortalities tended to improve after around 2009, especially among males, but, in females, disparities in all types of mortalities between areas improved less or even worsened.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Evaluating the effects of the 2017 National Health Insurance coverage expansion on amenable mortality and its disparities between areas in South Korea using Bayesian structural time-series models
    Sang Jun Eun
    Social Science & Medicine.2024; 344: 116574.     CrossRef
  • Regional Health Disparities in Hypertension-Related Hospitalization of Hypertensive Patients: A Nationwide Population-Based Nested Case-Control Study
    Woo-Ri Lee, Jun Hyuk Koo, Ji Yun Jeong, Min Su Kim, Ki-Bong Yoo
    International Journal of Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Regional Disparities in the Infant Mortality Rate in Korea Between 2001 and 2021
    Hyeongtaek Woo, Ji Sook Kim
    Journal of Korean Medical Science.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Changes in Barriers That Cause Unmet Healthcare Needs in the Life Cycle of Adulthood and Their Policy Implications: A Need-Selection Model Analysis of the Korea Health Panel Survey Data
    Woojin Chung
    Healthcare.2022; 10(11): 2243.     CrossRef

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health