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National Minority Health Month and Diversity in Clinical Trials

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Diversity in clinical trials remains a high priority for the life science industry. Due to a variety of reasons, minorities have not been adequately represented in clinical research, even in disease areas where there is a high burden on specific patient populations. Throughout the month of April, which also happens to be National Minority Health Month, we have seen what appears to be a disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in communities of color. The challenge now for the life science industry is to determine what can be done to ensure these impacted communities are included in COVID-19 treatment and vaccine clinical studies.

Medidata established an internal steering committee two years ago that has evolved into a formal team whose mission is to focus on Powering Smarter treatments for ALL patients. The Diversity in Clinical Trials Steering Committee’s vision is to be the leading voice in ensuring that all patients are part of the research community regardless of their ethnicity, gender, geographic location, or socio-economic background.

All efforts of the committee align with the following three strategic pillars:

  • Thought Leadership
  • Product
  • Expanding Patient Footprint/Social Impact

The team recognized that it could leverage Medidata’s data, expertise, and unique position within the industry to provide a cohesive approach and drive change to solve this enduring challenge. With dedicated teams supporting each strategic pillar, efforts have focused on elevating the issue through presentations at key clinical research conferences and webinars.

The team is developing a diversity dashboard in partnership with sponsors and CROs that easily visualizes historical demographic data in a clinical study. The team is also building a mechanism to integrate data to identify the appropriate racial and ethnic targets in a given disease state and track an organization’s progress. This is also done in partnerships with sites and patient advocacy groups to provide support and education to their members around ways to reach their diversity enrollment goals.

Medidata leadership has been a strong advocate of this work, and we invite you to check out the video of EVP, Head of Product Jackie Kent’s perspective on diversity in clinical trials.

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