Clinical trials have a diversity problem – despite making up 40% of the US population, people of color sometimes represent only about 10-20% of clinical trial enrollments. This can result in misleading conclusions about how therapies will ultimately perform across different demographics. Black communities, in particular, have had to endure mistreatment in clinical trials historically, so there are gaps in trust leading to lower participation to this day. This Black History Month, we are reminded of how racial diversity in clinical trials is still lacking and want to reiterate our commitment to closing that gap.
Leapcure’s aim is to partner with Black communities and other minority groups to address the core reasons for gaps in our clinical trial representation. We know that we need to meet patients where they are to spread awareness the right way – in alignment with Black community leaders and other minority leaders. To make this work, communication with patients needs to flow both ways. Information provided during educational sessions should be approachable, accurate, and easily digestible.
Studies that depend only on sites recruiting from their current patient populations are often doing minority communities a disservice. Failing to offer transportation services or appropriate reimbursements can also deter diverse participation. To successfully run diverse clinical trials, these issues need to be addressed.
Clinical trials are an important part of our society’s health. Leapcure has learned a lot over the past five years about what actions we can take to improve clinical trial diversity and access and we are committed to implementing them whenever possible.