Clinical trial sponsors are seeing increased diversity among participants as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As patient volunteers were dissuaded from attending in-person evaluations and follow-up visits to prevent the spread of disease, researchers adopted a decentralized model that allowed for remote assessments. By eliminating the need for trial participants to be within physical proximity of a testing center, more community-based recruitment could occur.
Previous research shows a lack of racial and ethnic diversity among clinical trial participants, who tend to be recruited from academic centers.
Gregory Rotz, advisory leader for U.S. Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences at professional services network PwC, stressed the importance of inclusivity in clinical trials. “Clinical trials are the way that communities get access to the next generation of innovative medicine and investigational products,” he said. “Having large parts of our population that don’t have access, especially if they want to participate in those trials, is a great tragedy for society.”
ASH Clinical News explored this topic in a July 2021 feature article, “Breaking Down Barriers, Building Up Trust.”
Source: Healio, January 25, 2022.