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B Corp Recruitment firm RBW Consulting launches findings from its second IMPACT initiative

Trial and Error shines a light on the under-representation of older people in clinical trials and provides recommendations for the future

RBW Consulting, a recruitment and search consultancy specialising in the life science sector, and The International Longevity Centre (ILC), have today unveiled a new report that delves deeper into the topic of age inclusivity in clinical trials.

The Trial and error report urges regulators, pharmaceutical companies and researchers to prioritise age diversity at all stages of the clinical trial process. Informed by in-depth expert interviews and a roundtable discussion, it explores the reasons for the lack of representation of older people in clinical trials and includes eight recommendations to ensure improvements are made.


It is RBW's second initiative under its innovative IMPACT programme, which sees the consultancy invest pro bono in patient-focussed projects where there is a shortage of knowledge, data, discussion or practical implementation on important issues within the health or life science sector. It follows RBW's 2021 ‘Emotional Odyssey’ initiative, which focused on the psychological impact of rare disease diagnoses in partnership with Rare Disease Research Partners (RDRP).  That body of work has since been well utilised across the healthcare system and within a policy setting, including being cited as a key reference in the latest rare disease action plan from the UK Department of Health and Social Care, published in February of this year.

Emma Thorp, Chief Commercial Officer at RBW Consulting, a certified B Corp company specialising in life science search and recruitment who provided support for the project as part of their ongoing CSR programme, said:

“We are proud to have partnered with the ILC on this project. Against the backdrop of the United Nations decade of healthy ageing, it felt like the right time to drill down into the needs of older people as part of the movement to make clinical trials more representative. 

It’s our hope that this work will support our clients and the industry in general with inclusive trial design. The more we can identify and share practical solutions, the more progress we will make, and our hope is that this work will sit alongside the excellent efforts of others to make real change happen.”

Esther McNamara, Senior Health Policy Lead at ILC and author of the report, explains:

“We are delighted to have partnered with RBW Consulting on this important work. This issue has rumbled on for many years; regulators, patient groups, researchers and pharmaceutical companies agree that a concerted effort is required to include more older people in trials. These are the very people who can make sure that the best treatments are found for the conditions that affect them most. We spoke with a range of expert stakeholders to reach conclusions and make recommendations in our report, which, if implemented, could support huge changes that better serve older patients.”

The full report can be downloaded here:



About RBW Consulting


RBW Consulting is a life sciences recruitment and search consultancy with purpose, and the only one in its sector to have achieved CertifiedB Corporation (B Corp) status. Operating in the US, UK, and Europe, and through four specialist practices, we help life sciences businesses change the world, by giving them the people, insight, and networks to innovate and scale. We also give back by playing an active role in directly funding initiatives that support better health and well-being. We deliver against our mission through what we call Human IntelligenceTM – our way of working that defines everything from our structure, our people, our network, and our team. 

About ILC

The ILC is on the impact of longevity on society and what happens next.


The International Longevity Centre UK was established in 1997 as one of the members of the ILC Global Alliance, an international network on longevity.


Since our inception, we have published over 350 reports and organised over 425 events, including the annual Future of Ageing conference.


We work with central government, local government, the private sector, and professional and academic associations to provoke conversations and pioneer solutions for a society where everyone can thrive, regardless of age.



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Last Updated: 24-Apr-2023