Diversity in Clinical Trials Participation: A Life Sciences Perspective

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Providing optimal care to all patients is an imperative that unites the various, interconnected parts of the medical field, from primary care to the pharmaceutical industry to the work of large academic medical centers. Over the past 30 years, there have been exceptional advances in care, treatment, diagnostics, and early identification of disease. Unfortunately, even with these many technological advances, addressing the importance of diversity has been lagging. Since the advent of clinical trials, recruitment has been largely centered on White populations. Although over 40% of the US population is currently comprised of ethnic and racial minorities, quite often only 5 to 10% of clinical trial participants represent any minority population. The disparity is striking and can also leave care providers with a detrimental lack of foundational information, not only with respect to what therapeutics might be most effective in minority patients, but also leave gaps and unanswered questions regarding potential adverse events and contraindications.

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