Inclusivity in Clinical Trials: The People Behind the Statistics

As authors of this blog, marketers, clinical trial advisors for our clients, and, most importantly, members of Black and Hispanic communities, we want to emphasize the human side of the diversity, equity and inclusion (DE+I) conversation in clinical research. While we often hear about the clinical benefits of DE+I, we believe it's crucial to delve into the humanitarian aspects of this issue.

The United States boasts a wonderfully diverse population, with some striking statistics that highlight this diversity. In 2020, the Hispanic population in the United States reached 62.1 million, making up 19% of the country’s population, making them the second largest racial or ethnic group in our nation, following White Americans, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. It identifies African Americans as the third largest race or ethnic group in the U.S. and Gallup estimates approximately 7.2% of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or as something other than heterosexual. Unfortunately, clinical trials in the United States have historically struggled to include a representative sample of individuals from various racial, ethnic and LGBTQ+ backgrounds, with demographic diversity making up less than 25% of randomized controlled trial (RCT) participants.

While these numbers paint a compelling picture, they don't fully capture the human stories behind the statistics. We believe that understanding the intricacies of the communities we aim to serve is of paramount importance. This includes delving into the complexities of their cultures, acknowledging their histories and recognizing past experiences that continue to shape their behaviors and perceptions, especially in the context of clinical trials.

Spectrum’s commitment is to identify the cultural nuances within these communities. We aim to uncover what motivates their healthcare decisions. Our goal is to ensure their voices are not just authentically represented, but their clinical trial experiences align with their unique needs and expectations. This alignment should span from the moment they first hear about a clinical trial to their interactions with principal investigators, the enrollment process and their experiences post-study.

For us, DE+I isn't just a strategic maneuver, it's a profound commitment. It's a commitment that ensures the development of therapies are safe and effective for all individuals affected by diseases. People from different populations react differently to the same treatment based on factors such as age, gender, weight, race and ethnicity. With this commitment at the core of our work, we’d like to share some insights we've gathered through our research in the DE+I space over the next few weeks and months. Stay tuned!

Spectrum is the premier, strategic patient recruitment partner helping sponsors big and small accelerate enrollment in difficult to recruit studies. We focus on translating a deep understanding of the lived experience – physical, emotional and information seeking – of potential participants into bespoke solutions that ensure trials are ahead of enrollment goals with more diverse and representative populations. Learn more!

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