3 Ways Clinical Trials Can Improve Health

image001In honor of National Minority Health Month, this April, we will put an extra special focus on some of the most pressing issues impacting minority. At Lilly, we believe that every individual should have access to quality health care options that suit their individual needs. In order to provide this personal level of care, however, all groups need to be represented throughout the health system.

Take clinical trials, for example. Individuals respond to medicines in different ways. In order for researchers to understand how medicines will work for patients in the real world, clinical trials need to reflect the makeup of the population. The lack of diversity in clinical trials has become a particularly worrisome issue, especially given growing concern over the impact of diseases like diabetescancer, and Alzheimer’s in minority communities. More representative participation in clinical trials could help with the development of innovative medicines that fit the needs of all populations.

Along with other members of the health care system, we’re working on taking steps to improve clinical trial enrollment and experience for all patients, especially those historically underrepresented in the process. So what’s being done to encourage greater participation in clinical trials?

  • Educate people about what it’s like to participate in a clinical trial. As this infographic from Lilly Clinical Open Innovation explains, 95% of people who have participated in clinical trials say they would participate in another one. By shedding light on the positive experience individuals have had, we can help encourage others to participate.

  • Raise awareness about the availability of clinical trials that meet patient’s needs. To address the underrepresented minorities in clinical trials, PhRMA and the National Minority Quality Forum launched the I’m In campaign. This provides another tool for individuals to take an active role in their health.

  • Improve the clinical trial experience. At Lilly, we partnered with Roswell Park to provide training opportunities for minority investigators. The partnership aims to train 75 to 150 minority oncologists in how to conduct clinical trials and provide them with the tools necessary to conduct trials relevant to minority populations. Improving the experience of clinical trials for all patients will help to encourage better participation, and better medicine.

We cannot develop new medicines without clinical trials; therefore, the future of health depends on them. Improving participation, particularly within minority communities, will provide us the best possible chance of a healthier tomorrow.