The topics of promoting patient diversity in the clinical trial population and workforce diversity in the profession continue to receive increased and welcome focus from the drug and device research and development industry. In recent months, for example, the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) has rolled out an extensive media campaign designed to widen participation in clinical trials by members of underrepresented groups.
CISCRP, a first-of-its-kind nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and informing the public, patients, medical/research communities, the media, and policy makers about clinical research and the role each party plays in the process, also published a supplement in USA Today recently. Applauding the clinical trial industry’s strong record in product and treatment innovation, Ken Getz, CISCRP founder and professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, writes in the special supplement that, “the ultimate success of all of these innovations depends entirely on the millions of people who volunteer to participate in clinical trials. These are everyday people who choose to give the extraordinary gift of participation in clinical research.”
PhRMA, the trade association for the pharmaceutical drug industry, has also stepped up efforts to improve diversity in the clinical trial patient population. Further, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has posted a new series of videos to inform potential participants in medical device studies about their options. ACRP itself has expanded its “Find Your Element” campaign, aimed at increasing diversity in the clinical trial workforce.
“It is encouraging to see and hear how much attention has been devoted to promoting diversity in the clinical trial patient population and workforce by ACRP, the [FDA], and others across the industry in recent months,” ACRP Association Board of Trustees Chair Paul Evans wrote in a recent issue of Clinical Researcher. “You cannot even begin to fix a problem until you identify it. Addressing a challenge of this magnitude requires rigorous self-examination, determination, and an openness to trying new ideas.”
Edited by Michael Causey