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What 4,000 patients taught us about driving diversity in clinical trials

For medications to work effectively for all who need them, clinical trials need to include a diverse cross-section of the population. However, although nearly 40% of the United States population is racial and ethnic minorities, estimated rates of research participation for these groups range from just 2% to 16%

Antidote recently partnered with Scorr Marketing and eight advocacy organizations (Allergy & Asthma Network, American Kidney Fund, GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, Healthline, JDRF, Lupus Research Alliance, Melanoma Research Alliance, and Multiple Sclerosis Association of America) to survey 4,000 patients. The goal was to uncover how people think about clinical trials and why they may participate. 

One of the most interesting findings was regarding race: Our survey found a clear distinction in the motivation between white individuals and people of color regardless of condition when considering volunteering for research. Specifically, we saw differences in interest in trial types, preferred engagement methods, reasons for taking part, and preferences around logistics. For example, people of color were more interested in hearing from peers who have participated in research than white individuals (77% v. 73%). The segment of non-white individuals who had taken part in a trial in the past was least likely to say that following their doctor’s recommendation was a major factor in their trial participation (33% vs. 25%).

These findings have implications regarding what study design, outreach approach, and logistical support will support diversity in clinical trials and ultimately drive the development of medications for all populations.