By Farwa Abbas, Manager, Strategy
The lack of representation and diversity in medical research is partially driven by a lack of access to clinical trials. Studies with limited diversity can create significant limitations on the conclusions drawn from study data. Attracting a diverse population of patients for a clinical trial is critical for patient health and long-term community wellness. After all, medications may impact demographics uniquely by age, race, gender, and other factors. Trials need to draw on similarly diverse groups of patients to ensure safety and efficacy. This is now recognized by regulatory agencies. In 230 trials for FDA approval of oncology drugs over the past decade, only 145 trials (63%) reported race. Black and Hispanic people were underrepresented in these trials relative to their proportion among the U.S. cancer population.(1) This three part blog series will examine the varied challenges and potential solutions to increasing diversity in clinical research. In Part 2, we’ll look at how research can better address race and ethnicity to better serve patient populations and overall community health.