Increasing Clinical Trial Participation Among Diverse Patient Populations

Conversations: Increasing Clinical Trial Participation Among Diverse Patient Populations

03.19.14 | By Stephanie Fischer

The development of new medical breakthroughs depends on the patients who volunteer to participate in clinical trials, but according to the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation, only 6 percent of clinical trials are completed on time and half of clinical research sites enroll one or no patients in their study. Delays in trial completion lead to delays in regulatory review and approval processes - which could ultimately delay patient access to new, potentially life-saving medicines.

Patient recruitment among certain populations is especially challenging. The Food and Drug Administration recently reported that African Americans make up just five percent of clinical trial participants, although they comprise of 12 percent of the U.S. population. Hispanics, representing 16 percent of the U.S. population, make up just one percent of clinical trial participants. Increasing participation by patient populations that are typically underrepresented in clinical trials is important in the evaluation of safety and efficacy of new therapies for diseases that disproportionately impact those populations.

Last week, PhRMA joined the National Minority Quality Forum to launch the I’m In campaign to help increase awareness and participation in clinical trials among underrepresented populations. Our Conversations forum this week features interviews with experts on the issue who addressed the following question:

What steps can we take to increase patient participation in clinical trials, particularly among diverse populations?

We look forward to hearing from our contributors and encourage you to join the conversation by sharing your thoughts in the comment section. You can learn more about the I’m In campaign by visiting


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