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Overcoming obstacles in trans and nonbinary participation in clinical trials

The clinical trials sector can make small changes to make transgender, nonbinary individuals feel safe to join studies.

By Reynald Castañeda, Clinical Trials Arena

Diversity in clinical trials is an even bigger topic this year, with the sector looking for ways to increase representation in their studies to better reflect the real world. And another facet of boosting diversity is including transgender and nonbinary participants.

Yet there are many obstacles. Trans and nonbinary people already go to numerous medical appointments and adding clinical trial commitments can be an added burden, says Parexel senior consultant of management development Liam Paschall.

Some transgender individuals take hormone replacement therapy that requires constant lab work, while some also choose to have gender-affirming surgery. Finding the right medical doctor for their needs, particularly ones that specialise in gender-affirming care, is already difficult, he adds.

Further, there is also distrust in the healthcare system. Paschall explains: “When trans patients look for a doctor, the first thing they want to know is if they will be cared for with compassion and understanding. Some clinicians may have little to no training in addressing their needs. And when they participate in trials, they are often put in the same bucket [with cisgender individuals] without consideration of [their] gender identity.” Read more …