Diversity and Recruitment of Minorities in Clinical Trials: An Unmet Need.
Patient centricity has led to the idea that drugs should answer medical needs not only defined by the medical bodies but relevant for the patients themselves. This implies that the diversity of the patients should be represented in clinical trials.
Today, Caucasian patients included in clinical trials represent at least 75% of the clinical trials population even in pathologies where minorities are largely more affected than Caucasians.
Filling the gap in diversity is an important matter to ensure ethics, good practices, regulatory compliance, patient safety and scientific validity. To achieve their recruitment goals and being patient centric, sponsors and investigational sites need to pay attention of this problem and put in place specific strategies.
Mistrust of patients of minority groups toward clinical research is one of the main barriers along with lack of access to clinical trials. Investigators may not encounter diverse populations in their area or may not be aware of unconscious bias when identifying patients suitable for a clinical trial.
Looking for referrals and raising awareness of the risk of bias with training on culturally sounded approaches could help investigators to recruit more diverse populations. Lack of awareness and costs may prevent sponsors to focus on diversity but ethics, benefits of data acquisition and patient centricity should be enough motivators to modify this trend. Patients, investigators and sponsors have their own barriers to tackle the lack of diversity in clinical trials.
Clin Trial Pract Open J. 2020; 3(1): 9-14. doi: 10.17140/CTPOJ-3-112