Diverse collage of people.

It’s time to harness data to improve clinical trial patient diversity

By Michael Causey, The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP)

“The time for pontification is over when it comes to improving diversity in the clinical trial population,” says Reginald Swift, PhD, founder and CEO of Rubix Life Sciences. “Underserved populations needed these therapies yesterday and the next generation requires us to step up,” he adds.

While he’s a big fan of diversifying the clinical trial workforce as one way to promote diversity, Swift warns industry must also find new ways to reach out to new, potential trial participants in traditionally underserved minority communities. “We need to widen the data net and do a better job of analyzing” those data to identify previously ignored patient populations, he notes, especially those without insurance, those who are homeless, or those living financially below the poverty line.

Swift calls on industry and regulators to develop programs to promote early-stage clinical research by providing funds and other support to empower these underserved patient populations. “In some cases, we need to provide food and housing programs” to help recruit and retain less affluent people, he says. Read more …