A special series from PBS on clinical research and the topic of the underrepresented populations including racial and ethnic populations. Although America finds itself ever more diverse its government-funded, cancer research studies are overwhelmingly not diverse—in fact fewer than 2% of these clinical trials focused on minorities specifically. Learn more from PBS correspondent Cat Wise on the problem and efforts to diversify research.
TrialSite News has curated and published a number of reports over the last year highlighting the challenges with diversifying clinical research. In fact, some of our principals have pragmatic experience working in patient recruitment, nearly two decades ago; and we find that many of the challenges involved with recruiting ethnic minorities into clinical trials are the same as they were back then. In many cases, underrepresented groups in clinical research, especially certain ethnic and racial demographics, don’t necessarily trust government health institutions, or for that matter biopharmaceutical companies. We conducted a survey of African Americans in southeast Texas in regard to their perspective on clinical research. The results tell a lot of the reason why certain groups, or segments within a broader group, don’t necessarily easily embrace clinical research programs. We offer some solutions to the challenge to consider.
Call to Action: For U.S.-focused clinical research, sponsors and investigators will seek greater diversification—how will this happen? What are approaches to take in the actual design of the study? How do academic centers, biopharma companies and government agencies overcome what in many cases could well be historically rooted, justifiably deep seated mistrust of health care institutions? There are many good examples of positive change. Search TrialSite News as a start.