COVID Trials Raising Awareness of Clinical Diversity

Minority representation in clinical trials is an issue the coronavirus vaccine trials has brought out of medical publications and journals and into the broader media.

In just the last few weeks, discussions of the need to ensure Black, Hispanic, Asian and other ethnic minority participation in the trials have appeared on NPRABCCNBC and elsewhere.

“If Black people have been the victims of COVID-19, we’re going to be the key to unlocking the mystery of COVID-19,” Rev. Anthony Evans, president of the National Black Church Initiative, told the Los Angeles Times.

Recruiting minorities for clinical trials is not a new issue. Five years ago, the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research began publishing demographic summaries of clinical trials. The reports are in response to a Congressional mandate “to report on the diversity of participants in clinical trials and the extent to which safety and effectiveness data is based on demographic factors such as sex, age, and race.”

A recent article on the pharmaceutical news site PMLive carried the headline “If our patients are diverse, why are clinical trials so white?” The article notes that, “Although 20% of the people living with multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells) in the US are African Americans, they only account for 6% of all patients in clinical trials.”

Clinical trial managers and researchers are making an effort to diversify their patient volunteers. Writing in Stat, Jocelyn Ashford, a patient advocate and trial recruiter, says creating an inclusive clinical trial requires engaging “the target community in discussions around the recruitment plan. By bringing these communities to the table early, we can hear their input instead of making assumptions about how to best reach them.”

In recruiting Black participants, she’s reached out to historically Black fraternities and sororities. “These organized groups of educated, social-minded individuals are looking to give back to their communities and can act as bridges to their parents, grandparents, and the Black community more broadly.”

Forbes last year suggested that a key to increasing minority representation is to make it easier for minorities to participate by designing ways to gather the data via wearables. It’s also important, says the Forbes article, that clinical trial investigators themselves be representative of different groups.

Citing a Clinical Research Pathways report on “Diversity in Clinical Trials,” Forbes observes that “patients from minority communities are more likely to enroll when they learn about studies from doctors in their own communities.”

For the earliest of the COVID trials, Moderna is getting help from Dr. Carlos del Rio, executive associate dean at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. He has a record of successfully recruiting minority trial volunteers, according to Kaiser Health News.

Said del Rios, “We’re trying to do our best to get out to the communities that are most at risk.”

Photo by Fadil Fauzi on Unsplash

What It Means to Be a Leader During a Time of Crisis
General Interest Leadership + Management Worklife

What It Means to Be a Leader During a Time of Crisis

Mid-Life Crisis? Consider a Mid-Life Career Switch
Accounting + Finance General Interest Information Technology Leadership + Management Worklife

Mid-Life Crisis? Consider a Mid-Life Career Switch

Lawyers Look to Move Firms to Keep Remote Work
Legal Support

Lawyers Look to Move Firms to Keep Remote Work

Is the Hybrid Workplace Sustainable?
Worklife

Is the Hybrid Workplace Sustainable?

Bank of America, Competitors to Raise Pay
Financial Services

Bank of America, Competitors to Raise Pay

Class of 2021 to Enter Job Market
Financial Services Healthcare Information Technology Marketing Technology Professional Support

Class of 2021 to Enter Job Market

Pharmacies Are Entering the Mental Health Market
Healthcare Pharma

Pharmacies Are Entering the Mental Health Market

Pandemic Challenges Create New Opportunities for Virtual Career Development
Worklife

Pandemic Challenges Create New Opportunities for Virtual Career Development

America’s New Tech Hubs
Information Technology

America’s New Tech Hubs

How to Recognize if a Manager Is Right for You
Worklife

How to Recognize if a Manager Is Right for You

Green Key Resources is Hiring!
Accounting + Finance Architecture + Engineering Creative Financial Services Healthcare Human Resources Information Technology Legal Support Marketing Technology Pharma Professional Support

Green Key Resources is Hiring!

How to Think Like a Lawyer
Legal Support

How to Think Like a Lawyer

3 Questions to Unlock Your Authentic Career
Creative Worklife

3 Questions to Unlock Your Authentic Career

Businesses Rethink “Necessary Travel”
Worklife

Businesses Rethink “Necessary Travel”

YOLO Is Sparking Riskier Career Moves
Worklife

YOLO Is Sparking Riskier Career Moves

21 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Today & Beyond
Architecture + Engineering Worklife

21 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Today & Beyond

Want to Feel More Connected? Try Some LOLs
Leadership + Management

Want to Feel More Connected? Try Some LOLs

In a Time of Crisis, What Makes a Good Leader?
Leadership + Management

In a Time of Crisis, What Makes a Good Leader?

The Pandemic Is Altering Data Privacy Expectations
Information Technology

The Pandemic Is Altering Data Privacy Expectations

Job Openings Hit a Two-Year High
Human Resources

Job Openings Hit a Two-Year High

Latest Blog Posts
View All Posts
What It Means to Be a Leader During a Time of Crisis

What It Means to Be a Leader During a Time of Crisis

During the early months of the pandemic, team leaders, managers, and company executives had to use cognitive reframing to build...
Read More
Mid-Life Crisis? Consider a Mid-Life Career Switch

Mid-Life Crisis? Consider a Mid-Life Career Switch

Far too often, ages and life stages are regarded as barriers to starting a new career. But the mid-life career...
Read More
Lawyers Look to Move Firms to Keep Remote Work

Lawyers Look to Move Firms to Keep Remote Work

As law firms across the country consider brining an end to remote work, some lawyers and other legal professionals are...
Read More