Exploring Diversity in Clinical Trials

All populations should have access to quality health care options.  For this to happen, the health system must reflect the diversity that exists in our country. Unfortunately, this does not happen in certain health areas. Take for example clinical trials, where minority underrepresentation has become a serious issue. This week’s LinkPad explores the problem:

  • Think Progress writes about a recent study conducted by the University of California Davis which concluded that clinical research doesn’t represent the diversity of the U.S. population. We need deliberate efforts to include minorities, as treatments work differently for distinct populations. Additionally, there is strong need to increase funding for this research, including support for minority researchers. 
  • An article in Saludify explains some of the reasons why fewer minorities take part in clinical trials. Research indicates that minority groups do not show unwillingness to participate; the problem lies in the way researchers approach them. Thus, the way we talk about clinical trials needs to be adapted, keeping in mind language and cultural differences.
  • Our CEO John Lechleiter’s column in Forbes explains how Lilly and others contribute to closing the diversity gap in clinical trials. We recognize the importance of minority participation in research and are making every effort to remedy the gap.

By recognizing the problem exists and taking steps to solve it, we can ensure our diverse populations get access to care that works for everyone.  Keep your eye on LillyPad, as I’ll continue to explore issues around health disparities in April, National Minority Health Month.  Also check out #NMHM14 for more content on minority health.