Why Diversity in Clinical Trials is Important
A recent 2022 report showcased the “critical shortcomings” in clinical research in the US, a lack of diversity in clinical trials. While we know it’s important to include diversity in medical research, the report highlights how racial and ethnic minority populations continually get left out.
Without question, this is a huge concern. When other racial or ethnic minorities are not represented in clinical trials, the data isn’t sufficient, as individual ages, races, and ethnicities may react differently to medication or treatments. As a result, it makes diversity in clinical research vital.
Importance of diversity in clinical trials
We must include diversity and inclusion in clinical trials because of the following:
- Datasets – When racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented or even excluded from clinical trials, the data collected isn’t broad enough to be reliable or valid. This can result in a lack of clinical innovation and progression.
- Generalizability – Without a broad dataset across multiple ages, races, and ethnicities, it can be harder to generalize treatments or medications.
- Unmet Needs – If certain populations are not represented in clinical trials, the needs of those particular groups may remain unmet and never addressed.
Simply put, diverse representation is key to bringing safety to all. But, despite this, 55% of clinical trial companies suggest that recruiting population diversity to their medical research is the #1 challenge in the workplace.
At ProSciento, we know the importance of including people of different ages, sexes, and ethnicities in clinical trials. However, though we’re committed to maintaining the standards set by the FDA with diversity and inclusion, we cannot change the industry alone. Together we must educate one another on improving diversity in clinical trials.
How to improve diversity in clinical trials
One of the best ways to improve diversity in clinical trials is to recognize and address existing barriers. This includes identifying issues that have caused a lack of representation in the past and developing strategies to eliminate them. With this in mind, here are some tips on how we can improve diversity in clinical trials:
- Identify any existing roadblocks – Employing a systematic approach to recruitment can help identify potential issues preventing people from participating in clinical trials.
- Increase public awareness – Raising awareness of the importance of diverse participation can greatly impact recruitment numbers. This includes providing information about the trial, its goals and purpose, and any potential benefits of participating.
- Engage community-based organizations – Working with local community-based organizations can provide easy access to diverse participants.
- Offer incentives or reimbursements – Offering reimbursement for travel expenses or other incentives, such as money (we offer an Ambassador Program where refers can receive $150 per participant), may help increase recruitment numbers.
- Improve data analysis – Utilizing sophisticated data analysis methods and artificial intelligence can help identify potential participants who may have previously missed out.
At the end of the day, we must ensure diversity is included and represented in clinical trials. By using the above tips on improving diversity in clinical trials, we can eliminate many roadblocks and adequately represent everyone, regardless of age, sex, or ethnicity.
As you know, it’s essential to include diversity and inclusion in clinical trials. Without this representation, the data collected can be unreliable, which could lead to a lack of innovation and progression in the medical field. To ensure that everyone gets the care they require, it’s a must for the industry.
Let’s beat this issue together.